PUMA ignites New Delhi by bringing together Asafa Powell, Milkha Singh and PT Usha
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi was buzzing with energy and excitement on November 18th in the presence of a surprisingly large number of people. Their excitement turned into amazement when Olympic gold medal winner and Jamaican star sprinter Asafa Powell entered the arena along with legendary Indian athletes Milkha Singh, PT Usha and Ashwini Nachappa, who came together as a part of PUMA’s “Ignite Delhi” campaign to make the city’s residents fall in love with running.
Making a sport like running popular in a country like India, where everyone is in love with cricket, can be quite a tough job, but PUMA continues to make great strides towards this goal. The German sportswear giant managed to bring together the crème de la crème of both Indian and international athletics together on one stage. It was sheer delight for youngsters sitting in the audience, listening keenly to their heroes talk about the biggest love of their lives – running.
Asafa Powell kept a relatively large crowd excited by sharing some interesting anecdotes and talking about what can be done in order to make running more popular in the country.
He emphasized on how Indians need to take athletics more seriously at high school level in order to increase its level. Powell also spoke about his association with PUMA and how the brand has been working to popularize sport, running in particular, in different parts of the world.
He might be nearing the age of 90, but legend Milkha Singh was as energetic as any other athlete present in the stadium and he talked with great fervour. Among the several things he spoke about, the Flying Sikh repeatedly emphasized on how Indians are capable of achieving success in athletics at the Olympics.
He appreciated PUMA’s efforts in bringing together all these esteemed athletes at such a big stage, making it a momentous occasion.
“I think PUMA has done an incredible job to bring all of us together here in New Delhi. What they have done is worth applauding and I believe, events like these help popularise running in the country on a large scale,” he said.
A round of words from all athletes was followed by some action on the running track as four teams, named after Milkha Singh and Rachita Mistri, Asafa Powell, PT Usha and Ashwini Nachappa went head-to-head for a relay race. Though it was a close contest but Team Asafa Powell trumped the other three to provide an exciting finish to the event.
As the day drew to a close, the general feeling wasn’t that of dismay, but anticipation as Delhi had been ignited and there was plenty to look forward to ahead of the big event – the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon – where PUMA are the ‘Ignite Partners’.