More rain, fewer participants as Pune District Junior Athletics Championship begins
The Pune District Junior Athletics Championship which started on Friday at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi has a seating area and warm-up section which is generally jam packed with athletes whenever any district meet is happening.
“Today we have only under-20 and under-18 events. You will see a rush when events for under-16 and under-14 starts on Saturday and Sunday,” said Sumant Waikar General Secretary of Pune District Amateur Athletics Association (PDAAA).
Although he did not gave exact number of athletes participating in the meet, which was supposed to commence on July 12-14, but was postponed due to rains.
Finally it started, but the weather gods were not kind as rain continued to trouble the proceedings on day one.
The officials ran the schedule on time, taking a few more breaks due to the rains.
“The number of athletes who taking part are less this year. Last time we had 1,100 entries, but this time we have only 800 entries,” said a source who did not wished to name.
Not making career in athletics
One reason for fewer athletes could be the pressure of academics.
“I have seen many good athletes in under-14 category who were top class sprinters, but are not now continuing. Earlier we used to have many entries and used to spend lot time in qualifying rounds, but now the number has almost gone to half of what it was supposed to be. I have also observed that the same athletes are winning and we are not getting new champions,” said the source.