Naveen Felicitates Athlete Bapi Hansda

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today felicitated Odisha’s track and field athlete Bapi Hansda with a cash award of Rs 25 Lakh for winning gold in the 400m hurdles at the recently concluded 18th National Youth Athletics Championship.

Bapi covered the distance with a time of 51.90 seconds. With this timing, Bapi is now ranked World No 1 in Under-18 category. This achievement qualified Bapi for Asian Youth Athletics Championship, which is scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan in April this year.

The Chief Minister Patnaik lauded Bapi for his dedication and hard work. The 17-year-old was elated to meet the Chief Minister and thanked him for the support and the felicitation.

Bapi, who hails from Balasore, is the youngest of five siblings and had lost his father in 2008. After lot of personal struggles, he found his passion for athletics and was spotted by the HPC for his talent and inducted into the Kalinga Stadium in 2019. Within a short period, he displayed exceptional talent and work ethics which impressed the coaches.

Since then, he has been a part of the Endurance training programme at the athletic High Performance Centre. Earlier, Bapi also got the opportunity to train with some of India’s top International athletes at Ooty Bapi will continue his training at the HPC under Head Coach Martin Owens, sources said.

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