Poor Infrastructure Plagues Athletes On Eve of National Open Championships

Updated: 15 September 2015 20:40 IST

Coaches and Team officials have complained about the poor infrastructure facilities at the SAI Complex in Kolkata ahead of the 55th national Open Athletics Championships.

Poor Infrastructure Plagues Athletes On Eve of National Open Championships
Dutee Chand (left) and other athletes have complained off the poor facilities at the SAI complex in Kolkata. © PTI

Kolkata:

Coaches and team officials of defending champions Railways and heavyweights Kerala complained of poor infrastructure facilities for the 55th National Open Athletics Championships beginning at SAI Complex in Kolkata on Wednesday. (Dutee Chand Hopes to Blaze Tracks)

     

The city last hosted the marquee meet of the Indian athletics in 2011 and the adjacent Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan was used for the track events. (Dutee Chand to Return to Action at National Open Athletics)

     

But with wear and tear in the synthetic track and the gigantic stadium up for maintenance for the FIFA U-17 world Cup 2017 the venue could not be used this time, according to the organisers.

    

 Railways coach Melwyn Crasto who is the coach Central Railway, with athletes Lalita Babar, Sudha Singh, Dutee Chand among others, and Kerala athletics coach lamented that the Salt Lake stadium could not be used this time.

     

"This venue may not be big enough to accommodate the thousands of athletes, officials... Wish we could use the Salt Lake Stadium," Railways coach Melwyn Crasto told PTI on the sidelines of their team's practice at SAI.

     

Three makeshift galleries made up of bamboo have been erected and it will accommodate about 200 spectators.

     

"I don't blame the organisers but for the one of the biggest biggest meets of the Indian Athletics calendar, after the National Games, is this enough?" asked Rajeevan K of Kerala who topped the athletics medals tally in the National Games earlier this year.

     

"No permanent galleries mean that it would be difficult for coaches to track their athletes as well," he said adding that rain may also play a spoilsport for the spectators.

     

However the duo praised the synthetic track of the SAI. "Hope it does not rain next four days so that our athletes can give their best."

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