VISAKHAPATNAM:Agreeing to the request of the president of Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and IAAF council member Adille J Sumariwalla, chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu announced that the state would host Asian Athletics Championship-2017 in Visakhapatnam by creating best sporting infrastructure.
Sumariwalla, in his address, urged the chief minister to conduct the Asian championship in AP state. He said that he was very much impressed with the facilities and the conduct of the National Inter District Junior Athletics Meet (NIDJAM-2015). Chandrababu Naidu instantly accepted the request and said that the government would wish to conduct the Asian championship in a grand manner and make it as one of the best events ever.
Addressing the athletes and coaches from 323 districts, Chandrababu Naidu said that the conduct of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi during the Congress regime bought bad name for India. He said that the main reason for accepting NIDJAM proposal in Vizag was to erase all those scars and show India, especially AP, could host mega events successfully.
Chandrababu Naidu said that they would construct Amaravathi, the capital city, with all sports facilities. “India faces a challenge as to whether it can host Olympics or not but with infrastructure and other facilities, we can do it,” adding that conducting Olympics at Amaravathi was his dream. Chandrababu Naidu also said that the state government would give priority to the games and sports right from school in the coming days.
Presenting Gold medal to the winner of Long Jump (Boys Under 14) to M Venkatesh of Telangana state, Chandrababu said that the sports infrastructure in Hyderabad was developed during the TD regime. Facilities at Gachibowli and Vidyasagar stadium will encourage sportsmen to put in their best efforts. He stressed the need for more infrastructure in AP like building sports schools, academies and stadia.
The officials of AFI announced that this was the first time they had conducted NIDJAM in south India, and it is seeing a record 3,478 participants, 1,000 more than the last time. State Sports minister K Atchannaidu said that the state government would reward Gold medal winners of the state with `7 lakh, silver medallists with `5 lakh and bronze winners `3 lakh to encourage sportspersons. CM feted Arjuna awardee Anju Bobby George and other sportsmen. HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Rural Development minister Ch Ayyanna Patrudu, MP K Haribabu and others were present.