Illustration: Shyam G Menon

IAU approval for bids submitted, received.

The 2020 IAU 24H Asia and Oceania Championships and the 2021 IAU 100 km Asia and Oceania Championships have been allotted to India, International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) said in a statement dated December 4, 2019, available on its website.

“ We are very pleased to announce that the 2020 IAU 24H Asia and Oceania Championships and the 2021 IAU 100 km Asia and Oceania Championships were granted to Bengaluru, India. The 24-hour Championships will take place on 18th – 19th July 2020.  The 100 km event is scheduled for September 2021 (final date to be confirmed).

“ The IAU, Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and NEB Sports (responsible for the race organisation) invite all Asia and Oceania Federations to send their Athletes to the events. The GIS and Invitations will be send in due time. It is our expectation that this Championship will be the starting point for a new stage in the development of ultra-distance in the region. India has never held an international ultra-distance championship organised by IAU,’’ the statement said.

“ We are delighted to take our next two Asia & Oceania Championships to India. India sent their first team to the IAU Trail World Championships in 2017 and has quickly risen in the world ultra rankings both on trails and the roads. Ultrarunning is quickly growing on the subcontinent and we are excited to further advance our sport in the region by bringing our continental champs to the area. I thank the Athletics Federation of India and the team of NEB Sports for submitting very good bids and I am confident that these will be two outstanding championships,’’ IAU president, Nadeem Khan has said.

“ It is our pleasure to welcome the International Ultra Runners for such a prestigious event hosted by AFI in India,” Nagaraj Adiga, CMD, NEB Sports was quoted as saying in the statement.

Bengaluru, the capital of India’s Karnataka state, is located on the Deccan Plateau at an elevation of over 900 m (3000ft) above sea level. Compared to other big cities in India, it has a relatively moderate climate. IAU’s decision follows a site visit to Bengaluru some months ago.

(The authors, Latha Venkatraman and Shyam G Menon, are independent journalists based in Mumbai.)

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