Bhubaneswar, July 10: As 22nd Asian Athletics Championships kicked off successfully, Odisha plans to set up Kalinga International Sports City in order to hold mega international competitions and events in future. This would come as one of the reformative initiatives which will boost the sports structure and develop champions in future.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that "The sports city will make us eligible to bid for most international competitions including Commonwealth and Asian Games," at the closing day of the championships at Kalinga Stadium.
With an aim to provide best of the sports infrastructures in other parts of the state, The Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) announced four satellite stadiums with world class infrastructures would be set up in the state's Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela.
Maintaining that Odisha is emerging as the sports capital of India, Patnaik said: "We have managed to extend the event into a permanent facility that will nurture Indian athletes and Odisha athletes in particular."
Further, he said that the state government also signed an expression of intent with the International Association of Athletics Federation and the Athletics Federation of India for a high-performance centre at Kalinga Stadium, which is first in the country, for better training and infrastructure support to the Indian athletes.
The state government also announced cash awards of Rs 10 lakh for Indian athletes winning a gold medal, Rs 7.5 lakh for the silver medal and Rs 5 lakh for the bronze medal during the Asian athletics meet. Sports Minister Chandrasarathi Behera said the prize money would be given to the award-winning Indian athletes in a special function today.