Proper amenities are conspicuous by their absence at the ongoing sub-junior National Powerlifting Championship at the KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium here on Friday. More than 500 athletes are competing in the event.
Young powerlifters sweated in the searing heat of the practice hall, which has just four ceiling fans. A small room, meant usually for training and warm-ups, was earmarked for dead-lift and snatch competition, while the squat events were held in the main practice hall.
Even the judges and referees looked frustrated with the arrangements inside the hall.
“Here we don’t have space for 10 people standing together, but we are forced to conduct dead-lift and snatch events,” a judge told HT on condition of anonymity. He said that one of the participants vomited before his event as he felt suffocated due to overcrowding.
HT saw many participants fetching drinking water from a pipe meant to water the stadium lawn.
“It’s pathetic and I have never seen such a situation at a national championship,” said Rajan Nair, a competitor from Kerala. “The situation here is like hell… no one would like to come here again,” he added.
All this despite the organisers — the UP Powerlifting Association (UPPA) — being exempted by the UP Sports Directorate from paying for the venue, electricity and other facilities at the stadium.
However, UPPA secretary PK Srivastava said on Friday that, “We don’t get any financial assistance from the government, and I am sure that we have made the best arrangements here. There is no shortage of drinking water,” he said, adding, “I will try to sort out all other problems after talking to the participants tomorrow.”
He, though, said that that event could have been organised at a better place in the state where there were bigger training and completion halls.