15 events in first Indian Grand Prix Athletics on Thursday


India’s top athletes, including Odisha’s international sprinter Dutee Chand, have registered for the inaugural one-day Indian Grand Prix, the first seniors’ track and field competition since the outbreak of the pandemic, to be held at the Patiala’s National Institute of Sports (NIS) campus on Thursday.

A total of 15 events, including two races each in the men’s 100m and 200m sprints, are scheduled at the Grand Prix. Odisha’s international sprinter Amiya Kumar Mallick will be seen in action in the 100m while Kerala’s 400m sprinter Rajiv Arokia and Noah Nirmal Tom will compete in 200m.

Amoj Jacob (800m) and Dharun Ayyasamy (400m hurdles) are among other top athletes.

In the women’s events, the spotlight will be on the likes of Dutee Chand (100m), Anjali Devi and Subha Venkatesan (200m).

“We are pleased that the track and field competition for seniors is resuming after a long break. We have had some excellent results in the three national-level meets held in the last three weeks — in Bhopal, Guwahati, and Ranchi. We believe that we will see similar enthusiasm and energy in the senior ranks as well,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told IANS.

The Grand Prix series is expected to fine tune athletes for the Federation Cup Athletics Meet next month. The second leg of the GP will also be held at the NIS on February 25 while the third leg will be held on March 5.

The competitors will have to furnish Covid-19 RTPCR test report upon entering the NIS campus. Thereafter, they will receive their bibs. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has made it mandatory that the report should have been generated in less than 72 hours before the commencement of the competition.