Opening ceremony of 22nd Asian Athletics Championships at Kalinga Stadium on July 5 will witness performance by over 500 artists.
The cultural programme to be held between 6 pm and 8 pm on Wednesday will showcase Odisha’s glorious past, heritage, culture, Buddhist connection with other countries and modern time.
According to the tentative programme schedule, stadium will be opened at 4 pm on July 5. Athletes will enter into the venue at 5 pm followed by the VIPs. Athletes of 45 countries of the Asian continent will take part in the march past ceremony and oath taking inside the stadium at 6pm.
The two-hour long formal programme will continue till 8 pm. A cultural programme with duration of 40 minutes will be the attraction of the opening ceremony. A Thousand Hand, a dance troupe from Thailand, will perform in the opening ceremony.
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This programme will begin with sun as protagonist. Voiceovers in the background will tell the history and present period of Odisha and dancers performing accordingly on stage. It will tell about Kalinga war, the great Ashoka’s transformation from Chandashok to Dharmashok and promotion of Buddhist religion from India to countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka. Thai dancers will make an entry during this particular point of description.
Dancers under the guidance of noted Odissi exponent Aruna Mohanty will showcase the rich culture and tradition through their scintillating performance. Traditional dance forms will also be used in the act, said Balwant Singh, in-charge of ceremonies of the Asian Athletics Championships.
“As many as 400 dancers will perform in the act starting from Kalinga war to emperor Kharvela’s Odisha. We are practicing very hard to give our best in the opening ceremony,” said Mohanty.
At the end, noted singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan with his troupe will perform a song on the theme of sports and a few Bollywood numbers. He will also sing an Odia song during his performance. Dazzling fireworks at the finale.
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“The opening ceremony will be held on July 5, but the events of the four-day-long championship will start from the morning of July 6,” said Singh.
The championship will become the biggest event in the competition’s history as nearly 1000 athletes and delegates from 45 countries will take part in 42 disciplines in the sports event. It will be a qualifying event for the IAAF World Championships in London. This is the third time the event is being held in India, after New Delhi (1989) and Pune (2013).
Courtesy: The Times of India | Featured Image:Sujit Bisoyi
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