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Why Indian athletics is in shambles

September 10, 2013 18:50 IST

The 53rd National Open Athletics Championships ended in Ranchi, on Tuesday in utter chaos with the closing ceremony, attended by state sports minister, being held in complete darkness for the entire period after a power blackout.

The power went off as soon as the closing ceremony began at 6pm local time and the entire Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium descended into complete darkness.

There was no alternative arrangement made for such an eventuality by the organisers and the ceremony, which lasted a little over an hour, continued with the state sports minister Geetashree Oraon being shielded by her security guards by forming a circle of human bodies around


With the mike not working, the minister declared the Championships closed at the top of her voice and one official announced that Railways were the women's team and overall champions. Services were declared men's team champions.

In bizzare scenes, the organisers were seen using their mobile phone headlights to read papers while making announcements.

The chaotic scenes at the closing ceremony would add to the discomfiture of the organisers with the Championships which have been hit by controversies ranging from a national record being questioned by its previous holder and medals being received by athletes who had not won them during the victory ceremony.

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