Rajiv prefix to Asian armwrestling meet | other | Hindustan Times
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Rajiv prefix to Asian armwrestling meet

other Updated: Jun 16, 2010 18:40 IST
Rahul Karmakar

The Asian Armwrestling Championship is returning to India after eight years with Rajiv Gandhi prefixed.

Assam capital Guwahati would be hosting the ninth Asian Armwrestling Championship named after the former Indian prime minister. The six-day event scheduled from August 21-26 is expected to attract more than 300 participants from 22 countries in the Asia-Oceania region.

The organizers insisted they were not arm-twisted into “tweaking” the name of the championship showcasing the power of fingers, wrist and biceps. “The Indian Armwrestling Federation and the Asian Armwrestling Federation approved the change in nomenclature,” Kailash Sarma, executive chairman of the event’s organizing committee, said here Wednesday.

Guwahati had hosted the second edition of the Asian arm-wrestling showpiece in 2002 after the inaugural event was organized in Kolkata in 2000. The last edition was held in Uzbekistan last year.

According to meet director Pran Pratim Chaliha, more women are expected to participate in the forthcoming edition compared to past championships. Women would be participating in seven categories from 50 kg body weight to 80-plus kg compared to 12 categories for men from 55 kg to 110-plus kg.

There’s a category for the physically challenged too.

“The countries that have confirmed participation include China, Pakistan, Australia, Japan, Iran, Mongolia and Indonesia,” said Chaliha. “Top office-bearers of the World Armwrestling Federation are also expected to be a part of this championship.”

Bidding for 2020 Olympics on track: Assam Rajya Sabha MP and 2010 Commonwealth Games chef de mission Bhubaneswar Kalita said India's efforts to bid for the 2020 Olympics was on track. Kalita, a member of the committee, added: "Ever since the Prime Minister acceded to forming the committee last year, we have had positive parleys with African nations. We have had encouraging vibes from West Asian and South East Asian countries with whom we would now be taking up the process."

Kalita also allayed fears that New Delhi would miss the October deadline to complete the infrastructure for the Commonwealth sporting showpiece. "Everything seems to be incomplete now, but the entire machinery is geared to give the finishing touches two-three days before the show starts. Given our weather conditions, finishing the works well in advance might entail expenditure on re-touching before the Games, and we want to avoid that."