Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship at Kalinga Stadium here on Wednesday.
A houseful crowd witnessed the grand inauguration ceremony of the continent’s biggest athletics event amongst splendid cultural performances and glittering fireworks.
After the formal inauguration, a performer dressed up as ‘Olly’, the mascot of the championship, led the march-past of athletes.
Odia athlete Srabani Nanda had the honour of taking the oath on behalf of athletes at the inaugural ceremony.
Artists from across the country performed in the inaugural function, starting from folk dance to Bollywood numbers, enthralling the jam-packed stadium.
The journey of Odisha, right from the Kalinga war during the reign of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, to the spread of Buddhism in the region and its subsequent march into the modern age was told through various dance and art forms.
Bollywood music director Shankar Mahadevan rendered several songs, including Sambalpuri cult song “Rangabati”.