Pune marathon will be held without any issue, say organisers | Hindustan Times
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Pune marathon will be held without any issue, say organisers

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Thursday had said it has not granted permission to the Pune International Marathon and had also advised the participants to skip this unrecognised event. 

pune Updated: Dec 02, 2017 23:33 IST
HT Correspondent
The first contingent of foreign athletes arrived in the city of Friday and spent time practising at the Sanas ground.
The first contingent of foreign athletes arrived in the city of Friday and spent time practising at the Sanas ground.(HT PHOTO)

On the backdrop of the recent controversy regarding the denial of permission to Pune International Marathon (PIM) by Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the organisers are confident that the event will be a grand success. 

“We are doing what is best for the athletes. We have been doing it for the past 31 years and won’t pay attention to those who are trying to harm the reputation of the event,” said Pralhad Sawnt, the race director of the event. 

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Thursday had said it has not granted permission to the Pune International Marathon and had also advised the participants to skip this unrecognised event. 

In a letter to its affiliated states, units and coaching camps in the country, the AFI said, "This is to inform you that Athletics Federation of India has not granted permission for Pune International Marathon." 

However, Sawant is of the view that the 32nd edition of the event will be held without any issue. 

“Already 90 athletes from various countries have landed in Pune and they will give their best to win on Sunday,” he said. 

The race will be flagged off from Sarasbaug and will finish at Sanas ground via Bajirao Road – PMC building – Aakshawani – Agriculture College – Savitribai Phule Pune University – Bremen chowk – Parihar chowk – Baner – Balewadi route. 

“We have kept water station vans at almost every km on the route. Over 770 technical officials are working for this event and more than 300 supporting staff will be helping them. A medical squad of 500 members has been formed and they will take care of the athletes,” said Sawant. 

Financial issue 

Due to the controversy, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) have backed out from sponsoring the event. When asked about it, Sawant said, “Whether they give it or not, we will conduct the marathon as usual. Even last year, they had given us money after three months due to the demonitisation issue. This time also we are hopeful that they will give us money after two months.” 

As per record, the event costs around 1 crore 30 lakh and PMC contributes for the prize distribution expenses every year. 

GROUNDSTORY 

The prize distribution of the event will be held at Sanas ground, which is a training centre of several young athletes in Pune. Apart from athletes, many fitness enthusiasts also use this ground for running and jogging. 

However, the organisers of the Pune International Marathon have completely ignored the fact that synthetic track should be treated with care and they have installed partitions on the track. 

“Due to the heavy load of these structures and no cushioning given at the base, this is definitely going to ruin the track. It’s very sad that these organisers are not paying attention to the track,” said RTI activist Vivek Velankar.

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