Pune runs to pay homage to martyrs and victims of Mumbai attacks

December 7th, 2008 - 4:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Priyanka Chopra

Pune, Dec.7 (ANI): Fifty thousand people including one hundred international long distance runners participated in an International Marathon in Pune to express their solidarity and pay homage to the martyrs and the victims of the Mumbai attacks.
Organised by the Pune International Marathon Trust (PIMT) under the aegis of the Athletic Federation of India (AFI), the event was flagged off by Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.
“All of us have gathered here to pay homage to our brave soldiers,Police officers and civilians, who lost their lives in the Mumbai attack. We want to convey a message to the entire world that nobody can insult our national flag and hurt our nation’’s pride,” Sharma said in his inaugural speech.
Many renowned personalities including former Miss World and Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra were present at the event to cheer the participants.
“The most important thing is that a large crowd has gathered to pay tribute to the martyrs. The time was extremely difficult for both Mumbai and India as militants terrorised us after intruding in our territory. It is good that such a large crowd has gathered to salute the martyrs after such an attack and thus reflect our unity,” said Priyanka Chopra.
Runners from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sweden, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ukraine and other parts of the globe participated in the marathon.
Suresh Kalmadi, President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Athletics Association (AAF), and Athletics Federation of India (AFI), thanked the foreign athletes for participating in the solidarity run.
“I am happy that around 50,000 people have participated in this event. The most happening thing of the event is that 100 runners of international fame have participated in the event. I am also thankful to the locals of Pune for supplementing the spirit of this event,” Kalmadi said.
The prize money was of rupees 25 lakhs for different categories.(ANI)

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