As many as 968 athletes from all over the country, including the likes of top names like Lalita Babar, Dutee Chand, Tintu Luka and Inderjeet Singh, are set to compete in the 55th National Open Athletic Championship to be staged at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Salt Lake campus in Kolkata from September 16 to 19.
Athletes from 24 states and eight boards are participating in the event including 312 women athletes. There will also be 33 defending champions 18 of whom were women.
“We are expecting records to be shattered,” said C.K Valson general secretary of the Athletics Federation of India.
Railways who have also had a strong outfit in these games is likely to dominate the tournament too with coach Soma Biswas at the helm of things.
“This meet will help our athletes evaluate their performance,” Biswas told reporters here.
States like Kerala, Haryana are also expected to do well in the four day event.
The inauguration will be held on the September 16 with former Supreme Court Chief Justice Altamas Kabir being the chief guest.
This is the sixth time the games will be held in Kolkata after 1991, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2011. It will also be the first time that SAI will host all the events. Earlier the track events were held in the Salt Lake stadium.
The tournament will witness 44 events in the men’s and women’s category.