Bhubaneswar: Odisha once again etched its name in the history of sports by successfully hosting the FIH Men’s Series Finals 2019 which concluded at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar yesterday.
The successful hosting of the series by Odisha following the severe cyclonic storm Fani has earned praises from the International hockey fraternity and fans from around the globe.
After the trail of destruction that was left by Cyclone Fani, hosting of an international tournament was near impossible. However, Odisha’s Temple City once again proved its capabilities.
While the State Sports department faced an uphill task of restoring the Hockey complex of the stadium within three weeks, Hockey India also kept a close watch on the situation before taking any decision on shifting the venue.
What made it more difficult was the fact that the stadium was used as a base camp for relief activities and shelter for people during Fani, leaving less time for restoration.
With cyclone Fani in May causing extensive damages across the state, the Kalinga Stadium here was no exception with both the turf and the infrastructure facing the impact. The state sports department and Odisha government managed to rectify the issues despite all the pressure in record time.
The stands, galleries and dressing rooms were all back in use and the turf also witnessed the Indian team practice without any serious concerns.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who attended the Niti Aayog meeting in Delhi on Saturday, rushed back to Bhubaneswar to witness the ecstatic finish to the FIH Hockey Men’s Series Finals 2019 where India ensured victory by beating South Africa 5-1 in the Final.
India played like champions and remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.
Spectators and fans also welcomed the BJD Supremo with cheers and applaud as the politician arrived at the stadium to support the home team.
Interestingly, nature was also in favour of Odisha in hosting the tournament. Yesterday the weather was fine till the distribution of prizes to the winner and the runners up and rain lashed the city just a few moments after the concluding ceremony.
Enjoyed a fantastic match of hockey of #FIHSeriesFinals between host India & South Africa at #KalingaStadium. With such impressive turnout of hockey lovers & undying enthusiasm for the game, Bhubaneswar continues to be one of the best hosts for hockey
🇮🇳 #INDvRSA🇿🇦#RoadToTokyo pic.twitter.com/pHXljQFd0a
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) June 16, 2019