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KARACHI: The preparations for 44th National Athletic Championship, scheduled to be held in Karachi from April 12 to 14 at Pakistan Sports Board’s tartan track, have begun.

It is the first time that national athletic championship is going to be held in Karachi. Pakistan Navy is playing a major role in organising the championship as they (Navy) are playing hosts along with Sindh Athletic Association (SAA).

Pakistan Navy will also provide residential facilities and security to visiting athletes. SAA president Zahid Rizvi told ‘The News’ that the first meeting to review the organisation of the championship would be held on March 4.

Officials of both Pakistan Navy and SAA would attend the meeting, he said. He said that around 500 athletes, including women, of Athletic Federation of Pakistan’s (AFP) 13 units would participate in the championship.

The meeting would finalise the arrangements for the championship, transport committee and boarding and lodging of the athletes.

Rizvi further mentioned that 180 technical officials would also come to the city for the championship. Before the championship begins, a refresher course would be held for the technical officials, to be conducted under the supervision of Pakistan’s best athletic coach of level five Imran Khan.

It is pertinent to note that the condition of national coaching center’s tartan track is not up to the mark. The main boundary wall of PSB center, which was broken down by heavy rains in the city, is still to be rebuilt.

Rizvi said that the condition of the track and other important work at the center would be improved as the championship is the biggest athletics event.