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Athletics

Athletics HPC in Bhubaneswar could be future hub of champions: Odisha CM

The HPC is a collaborative effort of the Odisha government and Reliance Foundation

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with athletes
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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with athletes

By

PTI

Updated: 23 Feb 2022 12:43 PM GMT

The 20-year old high jumper Swadhin Kumar Majhi recorded a personal best of 2.08 metres to win a bronze medal at the All India Inter-University Athletics Championship for men in Mangalore earlier in the year.The 16-year old Sabita Toppo, who hails from Sundergarh and has been identified as one of the brightest young prospects at the HPC, won gold in the U-16 girls long jump and silver in 80m hurdles at the Junior Nationals in Guwahati last year.

The Athletics High Performance Centre (HPC), which has been operational here since 2019, could become a ''hub of champions'' in the coming years, reckons Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Patnaik interacted with athletes of the High Performance Centre (HPC) during his visit to the Kalinga Stadium to inspect the progress of the ongoing construction of India's first state-of-the-art indoor track facility. Patnaik expressed hope that the indoor facility will be a ''major boost for the development of athletics in India and will become a hub to create champions in the coming years''. He wished athletes from the HPC the very best for the future.

The HPC is a collaborative effort of the Odisha government and Reliance Foundation. It began operations in 2019 and 50 athletes are currently training at the Centre.

''We are grateful for his (CM Patnaik's) sporting vision and we are honoured that for the last three years, in partnership with the Odisha government, we have developed the best and most innovative athletics training facility in the country,'' said James Hillier, head coach at the HPC, in a release.

Several athletes from the HPC have been doing well in the national circuit. The 23-year old Amlan Borgohain, among the first batch of recruits, won gold in 200m and silver in 100m, with personal best timings of 20.75 seconds and 10.34 seconds respectively at the National Open last year. The 20-year old high jumper Swadhin Kumar Majhi recorded a personal best of 2.08 metres to win a bronze medal at the All India Inter-University Athletics Championship for men in Mangalore earlier in the year.

The 16-year old Sabita Toppo, who hails from Sundergarh and has been identified as one of the brightest young prospects at the HPC, won gold in the U-16 girls long jump and silver in 80m hurdles at the Junior Nationals in Guwahati last year. Several athletes from the HPC are currently competing at the ongoing All India University Athletics Competition for women.

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