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Cuttack: The 65th State Athletic Meet-2017 is underway at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack. This three-day state competition for athletes from across Odisha was inaugurated on Thursday by Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera.

On the first day of the event, international sprinter Dutee Chand clinched Gold medal in 100m sprint for KIIT University by clocking 11.6 seconds.

“It is a big annual event for Odisha sports. We have international athletes participating here and the youngsters will get a lot of benefit from them by knowing more about the techniques and improving skills,” said sports expert Amiya Chand.

“This competition is held here every year and the athletes excelling in this competition are selected for the national meet. I also take part every year and have been winning medals and then setting up new national records,” expressed Dutee Chand.

The inauguration of the championship was delayed as the minister reached the venue late. Behera, who was expected to arrive for the inauguration at around 10 am, turned up at the venue at 2 pm, nearly 4-hours late which sparked resentment among athletes.

More than 1500 athletes from 34 affiliated units of Odisha are participating in 159 events in this championship being organised by Odisha Athletic Association. The state athletic meet will conclude on Saturday.

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