KATHMANDU: The Nepal Amateur Athletics Association (NAAA) today expressed interests to host the 11th Asian Cross Country Championships in 2011.

The NAAA sent the Letter of Intent to the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) to provide them the hosting rights of the 11th edition of the championships in Kathmandu. "The Secretary General from the AAA headquarters in Singapore, Maurice R Nicholas today advised me to send the Letter of Intent —which is the bid in itself — to host the championships," said the NAAA General Secretary Rabi Raj Rajkarnikar.

Nepal hosted the seventh edition of the championship in 2001. "We were very successful when we last hosted the event and we are very eager to host the event this time around," said Rajkarnikar.

The AAA will decide the hosts on November 10 in Guangzhou, China, on the sidelines of the Asian Athletics Championships. The NAAA will have to pay $5,000 if Nepal are selected as the hosts of the championships. The NAAA have selected Gokarna Forest Resort as the venue for the event. The championships includes four events -- men's 12km and 8km races and women's 8km and 4km races.

Meanwhile, the NAAA have confirmed Nepal's participation in the Asian Athletics Championship to be held in Guangzhou from November 10-14. Earlier, the athletes' participation in the regional meet was under clouds because of budget constraints.

The NAAA have selected Pramila Rijal, Keshari Chaudhary, Hari Kumar Rimal and Tilak Ram Mahato for the event. Pramila will participate in the 200m and 400m races. She set the national record of 59.19s in 400m and is also the national champion in the event.

Keshari will compete in 100m and triple jump. She was selected after her remarkable record-breaking performance of 11.30m in triple jump during the fifth National Games in April. Likewise, Hari Kumar will participate in the 1500m and 3000m steeple chase while Tilak Ram is scheduled to compete in 100m and 200m races at the Asian meet.

Though the National Sports Council (NSC) had earlier said they were not in position to help any of the sports associations financially, they have agreed to arrange air fares for three athletes. Ace Development Bank is sponsoring one ticket, while the NAAA themselves will arrange another. "We had a telephone conversation with the NSC Member Secretary Hari Babu Chaudhary (who is in Vietnam) on Monday and he assured that NSC would grant tickets for three players while the rest should be managed by the NAAA themselves," informed Rajkarnikar.

Rajkarnikar said the NAAA were in a weak financial position and unable to manage Rs 400,000 for the championships. For the participation, Fishtail Air Service has sponsored kits for the players. NAAA have nominated former national athlete Jitendra Kumar Chaudhary as the coach-cum-manager for the Nepali team.