Lord Hanuman, a divine figure in Hinduism and dear to Indians, will grace the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships as the official mascot.
Asia’s biggest track and field event will commence between July 12 and July 16, 2023 in Bangkok.
The championships are taking place to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Asian Athletics Association.
The Asian Athletics Association wrote about how Lord Hanuman is the epitome of loyalty and courage on its official website.
"As Hanuman exhibits extraordinary abilities in (Lord) Rama's service, including speed, strength, courage, and wisdom ... Hanuman’s greatest ability is, in fact, his incredibly staunch loyalty and devotion," the continental body penned.
The mascot signifies various essential traits of the participating athletes.
"The 25th Asian Athletics Championships 2023 logo indicates the athletes participating in the games, skills, teamwork of athletes, showcase of athleticism, dedication, and sportsmanship," the athletes' body wrote.
Indian epic Ramayan written by Valmiki made it to various Southeast Asian countries because of the influence of Hinduism in these cultures, including Thailand. Ramakien is the Thai version of the Indian legend.
Hosts Thailand are one among nine teams that have taken part in all 23 previous versions of the event, with the 24th Championships in 2021 being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The other eight teams are Hong Kong, Japan, India, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Singapore.
Thailand’s fastest under-18 100m runner, Puripol Boonson, is one of the top young athletes in the competitions to watch out for. Indonesian sprinter Lalu Muhammad Zohri and Japan’s middle-distance runner Tanaka Nozomi are some other major attractions at the event. India’s long jumper Murali Sreeshankar will look to leave his mark in the Asian event.
The Indian contingent under the leadership of shot putter Tajinderpal Singh and long jumper Sreeshankar, flew to the capital city of Thailand on July 8, 2023.
Source : Outlook India