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Teams start arriving for Championship

Malidives and Bhutanese team have already arrived, besides the first batch of 25 athletes from the 83-member strong Indian contingent.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2008 17:58 IST

Kochi is agog with excitement after the arrival of athletes for inaugral South Asian Athletics Championship, which will be held at the Maharajas Stadium here, on March 7 and 8.

The 14-member Malidives and three-member Bhutanese team have already arrived, besides the first batch of 25 athletes from the 83-member strong Indian contingent, T P Dasan, President, Kerala State Sports Council, told reporters here today.

The 62-member Sri Lankan athletics team and 30 officials are expected to arrive in the evening, while teams from Pakistan and Bangladesh will be arriving here on March 6.

The remaining 58 members of team India was also expected this evening, he said.

Among the eight participating countries. India has fielded the largest contingent while Bhutan the least number. Pakistan will have 39 members including 13 women athletes.

Barring the 100 M and 400 M, there will not be any preliminary heats in other events and it will be finals, straightaway.The 100 M and 400 M events in both the women and men category will have preliminary heats.

He said 19 events had been scheduled in the men's section while 15 events in the women's.

The inaugural ceremony, which was scheduled for March 6 has been changed to March 7, because of the delayed arrivals of the teams, he said.

The ceremony, to be held in the morning, will last only an hour, he said. However, the closing ceremony will be an elaborate one, with the display of various forms of folk dances.

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