The five-day national weightlifting championship, 2011, will begin in Silk city Berhampur on December 24. As many as 300 weightlifters from across the country, including 100 woman participants, will participate in the event, while around 100 officials, including those from the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will conduct the tournament.
"Over 100 weightlifters and several officials have already reached the town. Several others will reach on Saturday morning due to late running of some long-distance trains," the vice president of the IWF and the organizing secretary of the event, Narayan Sahu, said on Friday. The participants include several international and national award winners, he added.
The technical committee of the federation has already done the final inspection of the makeshift stage erected inside the Berhampur Stadium, where the event will be held. Some of the participants have begun practicing, and the preparation is almost complete, Sahu said.
The mega event assumes significance as Berhampur has produced several international and national-level weightlifters, including two Arjuna award winners - K Ravi Kumar and Bijay Satapathy.
"We are very happy, as the city, that has produced a number of noted weightlifters, is holding the national meet for the first time," said the advisor of the Odisha Weightlifting Association (OWA), Biswanath Patra.
Apart from weightlifters, the city has also produced some reputed weightlifting coaches, including Narayan Sahu, Sita Nath Patnaik and Ramesh Padhy.