Neeraj Chopra’s presence leads to tight security arrangements

Bhubaneswar, May 15 (PTI) Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra’s presence prompted the organisers of the Federation Cup to tighten security around the Kalinga Stadium, which was buzzing with activity as fans waited in anticipation ahead of his event on Wednesday.

The security arrangements put in place have rarely been seen for an athletics event in India.

This is Chopra’s first competitive event on Indian soil in three years.

Chopra is featuring in the men’s javelin throw final of the Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships, after he last competed in India in the 2021 edition of the same tournament.

Before Chopra reached the warm-up track of the stadium two hours prior to the final, security personnel were seen at the entry area, directing journalists to enter from another gate though they had entered the area through the same gate on previous occasions.

The scribes were given a particular area to station themselves, while in earlier days they were allowed to move around.

“People wanted to come to meet me and they were being stopped. I was not feeling good. Earlier, I was meeting a lot of people as they were allowed to come and meet me,” Chopra said after winning his competition.

“On the other hand, we (athletes) have to be in a different mindset and be serious during a competition. There is risk factor (of injury) also if a lot of people come on the field,” he added.

In the past, many athletes used to do warm-up at the track but not on Wednesday. Volunteers were placed to stop people from entering the track area. The grass area was kept protected.

To be fair to the organisers, that made the warm-up more orderly and less crowded. Kishore Jena later joined Chopra and they warmed up at the adjacent state-of-art indoor stadium for a while.

Source: PTI News

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