SAI steps in to help race walker Amit Khatri travel to Oman for World Championship
Amit had created history last year when he became the first race walker from India to win a medal at the U-20 World Championships.
The Sports Authority of India has intervened to enable U-20 World silver medallist Amit Khatri travel to Muscat for the World Athletics Race Walking Championships after he was denied visa by Omani authorities for failing to meet their COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
Amit, who is a part of the Indian team, is set to compete in the 10km race walk event of the championships, to be held on March 4 and 5. He was unable to travel to Oman because of COVID vaccination guidelines of that country. But then, SAI sprung into action and with the help of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), resolved the issue.
"I got vaccinated just a few days before the competition and thus was not able to get permission to travel and participate in the World Championship. Due to which I had lost all hope, and thought I would not be able to compete," Amit said in a statement.
Officers in the MEA also reached out to the Ministry of Health of Oman and other authorities through the Indian Embassy in Muscat and facilitated his travel after he had completed his vaccination. The MEA also appointed a liaison officer at the Muscat Airport for immigration support.
"I am very thankful to the MEA, SAI, TOPS, and AFI for helping me out of this situation. Their timely intervention has helped me reach the competition in time and now I am more determined to give my best in the competition so I not only make the country but everyone who helped me out proud of my performance," Amit added.
Amit, who is an athlete of SAI's Target Olympic Podium Scheme, had created history last year when he became the first race walker from India to win a medal at the U-20 World Championships.