Odisha’ Bapi Hansda Clinches Silver at Asian Youth Meet; Naveen Lauds Balasore Athlete

Bhubaneswar: It was only his fifth attempt in 400m hurdles, but Bapi Hansda was good enough to clinch the silver medal at the 5th Youth Asian Athletics Championships in Tashkent.

The 17-year-old from Odisha’s Balasore clocked a personal best of 51.38 seconds to finish second, ahead of Sri Lanka’s Kuda Liyanage Ayomal (51.40s). Qatar’s Mahamat Abakar Abdrahman claimed gold with a time of 50.91 secs.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik I congratulate Bapi for his impressive achievement at the Asian level.

“He is an inspiring example for other athletes. In spite of lot of challenges in his personal life, Bapi has been able to achieve this feat. I wish Bapi, the coaches and the entire team of the Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC the very best. I am happy that our investment in sports ecosystem has started showing results,” said Naveen.

Bapi, a native of Basta in Balasore district, is an Odisha Reliance Foundation High-Performance Athletics Centre, has been making remarkable strides in 400m hurdles. He recently won gold at the 18th National Youth Championship clocking 51.90 secs, making him the world’s top-ranked hurdler in under-18 category and helping him qualify for Asian Youth Athletics Championship.

Martin Owens, Head Coach of Odisha Reliance HPC, said Bapi ran a ‘brave race’.

“He was a bit nervous before the race because he had finished third yesterday in the heats due to which he was assigned lane 8. I call it a gutsy effort by him today because he was almost running blind in lane 8, he was a little behind midway but made a brilliant finish. Considering this is only his 5th attempt in the 400m hurdles, it is a fantastic achievement and the lad has clocked his personal best,” Owens said.

Bapi will next be competing in the Commonwealth Championships in August and then preparing for next year’s Junior World Championships.

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