Chattogram is all set to host the national athletics championships after 14 years as the 43rd edition of the meet will take place at the MA Aziz Stadium in the port city from January 16.
Some 500 athletes from 64 districts, eight divisions, universities, educational boards, BKSP and services team are expected to compete in 36 events -- 22 for male and 14 for female athletes, informed Bangladesh Athletics Federation (BAF) general secretary Abdur Rokib at a press conference yesterday.
With the patronisation of Chattogram Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin and assistance of Chattogram District Sports Association, the BAF is organising the championships in port city in a bid to bring a new hype in athletics even though all the events will take place on grass.
Out of the previous 42 editions, Mymensingh and Jashore hosted the championships once each while Chattogram hosted the premier meet twice, last of which was held in 2005. That was the last time the national athletics meet was held on grass.
“The track and field events may not produce good timing on grass, but we believe other events such as long-jump, high-jump and throw events will not be any impacted by the surface,” BAF joint secretary Fariduddin Ahmed said, adding that they chose the Chattogram venue due to the poor condition of athletics tracks at the Bangabandhu National Stadium and the Army Stadium while hosting the meet at BKSP will be too expensive.
“Participating in the national athletics championships in Dhaka has become a bit boring for participants. I believe a lot of affiliated bodies will take part in Chattogram and there will be huge enthusiasm,” added Ahmed.