Season II of GAIL Indian Speedster concludes with selection of 7 athletes
After a series of trials across the country, the Season II of GAIL Indian Speedstar culminated on Wednesday with selection of 7 athletes, who will now be trained to compete for international athletic events including the Olympic Games 2020 and 2024. The grand finale of this grass root athletics program was held at Thyagaraj Sports Complex, New Delhi.
Starting with over 1,13,000 aspirants initially, as many as 118 athletes had qualified trials at the zonal level from 107 districts of India before top 7 were selected from the national camp. Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar was the Chief Guest at the event which was also graced by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports & Minister of State, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Vijay Goel and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL (India), BC Tripathi and National Selection Committee members that includes legendary PT Usha, Sriram Singh Shekhawat, Olympians Rachita Mistry, Anuradha Biswal and Asian and Commonwealth Games medalist, Kavita Raut were also present on the occasion. The GAIL Indian Speedstar was conducted by National Yuva Co-operative Society Limited and Anglian Medal Hunt Company.
Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India said, "I am enthused to get a glimpse of these young talent who have come from different parts of the country for the grand finale of GAIL Indian Raftaar. My congratulations to GAIL for organizing this unique talent search program which has seen massive participation. I am sure these selected athletes will win and make the country proud."
PK Gupta, Director HR, GAIL (India) Limited said, "Olympic gold in track and field is the dream of every Indian. We at GAIL feel privileged to groom and support the athletes through GAIL Indian Speedstar at the grass root level in their quest to fulfil this dream. It will be a golden moment for the uscountry if these young athletes are able to achieve this long cherished dream of an Olympic medal."
Vijay Goel said: "My congratulations to GAIL India for successfully conducting this pan India unique talent search program. We are always in search of talent and initiatives like this boost our endeavor to search / unearth more and more talent across different sporting discipline." PT Usha said: "I am happy to be associated with GAIL Raftaar since the inaugural season, the initiative is providing support to young athletes in the under 14 and under 16 categories. This is a welcome move by GAIL in a sport where support is generally available only at the senior level or when one begins winning medals. Looking at the level of talents available and the coaching and support facilities that are being made available to athletes, I am hopeful that our country will win a medal in athletic by the 2024 olympics."