Discus thrower Krishna Poonia was the flag-bearer for the Indian contingent at opening ceremony of the 20th Asian athletics championships. Forty-three nations took part in the march past at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex athletics arena at Balewadi.

Preeja Sreedharan, India’s distance runner took the oath on behalf of the athletes from the competing countries.

Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwala addressed the gathering after the formal ceremony, followed by cultural programmes.

Former Asian Athletics Association president Suresh Kalmadi was absent as some of the best Asian athletes assembled in his home city, Pune. This is the second time India is hosting the event. Delhi hosted it in 1989.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan inaugurated the championship.

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