Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Asian Games

Asian Games: Taekwondo players cleared for China with less than 24 hours to go for bouts

With less than 24 hours to go for their bouts, Taekwondo players Shivansh Tyagi and Margette Maria have landed in China for the Asian Games.

Asian Games: Taekwondo players cleared for China with less than 24 hours to go for bouts

Margrette Maria Regi and Shivansh Tyagi with coach Harjinder at Delhi Airport before leaving for the Asian Games. (SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT)


Pritish Raj

Updated: 26 Sep 2023 8:47 AM GMT

New Delhi: Taekwondo players Shivansh Tyagi and Margrette Maria Regi were cleared to fly to Hangzhou, China, late Monday night for the 19th Asian Games with less than 24 hours to go for their bouts. Their participation was at risk of being cancelled due to infighting between two Taekwondo bodies, fighting for recognition.

The drama surrounding the Indian sports for the Asian Games is not new. Earlier, the Indian men's football team travelled to China via Thailand at the last moment after selection drama. The team had to wait for 12 hours in Thailand before flying to Hangzhou with less than 24 hours to go for their opening match against China. India lost the match 1-5.

The Taekwondo players, though with a different challenge, are now the latest inclusions in that list, and they ended up in the Asian Games after wading through troubled water.

The decision to send Tyagi and Maria Regi came at the very last moment, with bouts of both players - Shivansh Tyagi (men's 80 kg) and Margrette Maria Regi (women's 67 kg) - scheduled at 6:30 AM Indian Standard Time on September 27.

The players reached Hangzhou on time but remained jetlagged, and the status of their participation remains unclear.

Another taekwondo player Rupa Bayor who hails from Arunachal Pradesh could not make it to China due to operational and logistical challenges.

"We are finally relieved that the players are going to China. I am not sure how they will fight after such a hectic routine," a source close to one of the players told The Bridge.

It is noted that Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha took up the matter personally and made some last-minute arrangements for the players.

"It was a last-minute thing. The players received a call on Monday morning, and they were asked to be ready with their bags packed. IOA booked the tickets, and they left for China around 10:30 PM IST on Monday," the source added.

The drama started in July when a fight between two federations- Taekwondo Federation of India and India Taekwondo - halted the process of trials leaving players' selections for the Asian Games in disarray.

The players moved the Delhi High Court and sought its intervention in the matter. In an order dated July 19, 2023, the High Court sought an explanation from the IOA about the status of players' selection and participation in the Asian Games.

"I don't know what to do in such a situation. Asian Games comes once in four years and this fight between egos or whatever you call it, is affecting us. All the taekwondo players live in uncertainty and don't know what will happen," one of the players had told The Bridge in the past.

Next Story