The Odisha Weightlifting Association, in partnership with Pro Sport Development and Gram Vikas, will host the Youth, Junior and Senior Odisha State Weightlifting Championship, sponsored by Hero MotoCorp Ltd, on the 22nd and 23rd of November, 2014, at the Khel Vikas Centre of Excellence located on the Gram Vikas Campus in Mohuda, Berhampur.
Over 150 athletes to participate
Weightlifters from the districts of Ganjam, Khurda, Cuttack, Balangir, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Baleswar, Mayurbhanj and Puri will participate in the championships. The event will witness over 150 athletes competing in all weight categories from Youth, Junior and Senior levels, comprising of over 90 boys and 60 girls. In addition, close to 40 coaches and officials will be supporting these athletes for the duration of the event. A total of 14 athletes (11 girls and 3 boys) from the Khel Vikas (KV) Weightlifting Academy are set to compete as part of the Ganjam District team in the championship.
The chief guest for the opening ceremony of the championship, on the morning of the 22nd of November, will be Shri Bijay Kumar Satapathy, an Arjuna awardee and former International medal winner in Weightlifting at the Commonwealth and Asian Games. This will be followed by the day’s event as weightlifters in the youth and junior categories will compete for a place to represent Odisha at the national level.
Khel Vikas athletes set to shine
13 out of the 14 Khel Vikas athletes are to participate in the Youth and Junior category on 22nd November. Jyoti Badamundi and Namita Mallik, who finished 1st and 2nd second respectively in the district championship, are in the 44-kg category. Pinki Naik and Pushpanjali Badamundi are to clash in the 48-kg category.
In the 53-kg category, Santilata Nayak and Kanchana Badamundi are to take part while Sitamani Hembram and Puni Raita face-off in the 58-kg category. Among the boys, Sanatan Mallik, who was one of the crowd favourites from the district meet, will hope to make the most in the 69-kg category. In the juniors, Archana Pradhan and Tukuni Badamundi will share the stage in the 48-kg category.
Aruna Santa, who has won Gold in the Youth Commonwealth Games and Youth Asian Championships, will compete in the 56-kg Junior category along with fellow Khel Vikas lifter, Kalia Behera.
Day 2 to host seniors
The second day on the 23rd of November will witness men and women in the senior categories competing to represent Odisha at the Senior Nationals. The closing ceremony will be held in the evening on 23rd November, 2014. The chief guest for the evening will be Dr. Ramesh Chandra Chyau Pattnaik, the M.L.A of Berhampur. Baidehi Majhi is the only KV athlete who will participate in the 48-kg senior category.
With participants coming from ten districts of Odisha, the competition will witness talented weightlifters from all part of the state competing for honours, with the possibility of many state records being broken over the two days of competition. This will be one of the grandest sporting events in Odisha and hopefully a turning point in the status of grassroots sports.
Pro Sport Development’s founder-director, Suheil Tandon, lent his gratitude to Hero MotoCorp in sponsoring the championship, “Hero MotoCorp has always been involved in Sports by being a part of International events. However, this is the first time that they are supporting grassroots sports by sponsoring the Odisha State Weightlifting Championships.”
He also adds that roping in a sponsorship partner like Hero resembles the high standard of weightlifting in Odisha. PSD and the Odisha Weightlifting Association hope to continue this relationship for a long-time.