Bhubaneswar: The countdown has already started for Men’s Hockey World League Final to be played in Bhubaneswar from December 1. The preparations for this competition are in the final stage. From Kalinga Stadium to Airport the entire city looks decked up for the occasion with banners of the tournament and flags of the participating nations.
The hockey complex at Kalinga Stadium is all set to host the tournament. The matches will be played at the main astro-turf while the other turf will be used only for practice. A new gallery and changing rooms have been constructed at the practice turf right before this competition. The entire campus of the stadium has been decorated and mascot ‘Olly’ is found greeting everyone entering the stadium at all the gates.
“The stadium is ready to host the tournament. We are doing extensive branding on the campus. The road decoration, lighting and cleaning of the entire complex is complete. Players can use both the turfs for practice before the main event,” said Barija Mohanty, Officer-in-charge, Kalinga Stadium
Special OSRTC buses are running for the tournament and have been decorated with the HWL logo, flags of participating nations and pictures of ‘Olly’. Young hockey players of the state have been roped in as volunteers for this mega event.
“This league has provided an opportunity to our players to closely watch the foreign players and get to know more about their skills and fitness,” said hockey coach of East Coast Railway Ranjan Das.
Hockey lovers in the state are super excited for the tournament. After Champions Trophy Hockey in 2014 and Asian Athletics Championships earlier this year, the Hockey World League Final is expected to draw huge crowd to the stadium.
“I took the ticket for the second day to watch India vs England game. Hopefully the game turns out to be an interesting one,” said Nrusingha, a hockey lover.
The state government and all others involved in the organization are leaving no stone unturned in the preparation of the tournament. All are hoping that this also turns out to be a successful sporting event just like all previous tournaments played in the ‘Temple City’.