Kohima: In a first for people from Northeast India, adviser to Nagaland chief minister Abu Metha, in his capacity as the associate vice president of Athletics Federation of India (AFI), is leading the Indian team at World Athletics U20 Championships being held in Nairobi, Kenya.

The opening ceremony of the championship was held late on Tuesday at the world famous Karanani Stadium, popularly known as the Home of Heroes. The chief minister’s office (CMO) said that due to COVID-19 restrictions, only five persons were allowed to represent a country at the grand opening.

Abu Metha, team leader and associate vice president of Athletics Federation of India (extreme left), with representatives of the Indian team at the opening ceremony of World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya

During the ceremony, India’s flag bearer was Kunwer Ajai Singh Rana, who is competing in the men’s javelin throw. India has a 38-member team comprising coaching staff and team officials. The ceremony was also attended by AFI president Adille Sumariwala.

“This is the first time that an Indian athletics team to the world championships is being led by a person from the entire Northeast,” the CMO informed.

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Taking to Twitter, Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio said: “Congratulations to Shri @abumetha on being appointed Team Leader of the Indian Team to the @WorldAthletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya and for leading the Indian delegation at the Opening Ceremony which is a first for the North East. I wish the team all success.”

Metha also tweeted, saying: “Great honour,privilege&humbling experience to be TeamLeader of #India at the OpeningCeremony of the #WorldAthleticsU20 at #Nairobi, #Kenya. Greatly satisfying to contribute towards NationBuildingProcess on behalf of our people.Thanks to all for prayers&constant support.”



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