The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar saw a glittering Opening Ceremony of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship where more than 700 participants from 45 countries took part in the march past. India’s middle-distance ace runner Tintu Luka led the 95-member Indian contingent. 8 members of the Pakistan contingent including 6 athletes and 2 officials who were given visa at the last minute took part in the march past. They were received warmly by the spectators. Odisha’s star short-distance runner Shrabani Nanda took the oath of fair play on behalf of all the participating athletes.
Bollywood composer and singer Shankar Mahadevan along with Ehshan and Loy put up a rendition of of popular Sambalpuri folk song ‘Rangabati’. A dance troupe from Thailand, ‘Thousand Hands’, also enthralled the audience. Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik declared the meet open.