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Commonwealth Games 2018: Gymnastics contingent left in a lurch

Commonwealth Games 2018: Gymnastics contingent left in a lurch

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Published: 21 March 2018 12:18 PM GMT
With reports of an unnaturally high number of IOA officials in line to travel to Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games surfacing, it needs to be pointed out that several contingents have been left in a lurch without proper coaches accompanying them. One such discipline is Gymnastics. With the tournament slated to begin from April 4th, the Times of India reports that the Gymnastics contingent still remains unsure about their travel plans. For one, they are yet to receive their training kits and it has been months but the Gymnastics Federation of India is yet to appoint a coach for the contingent.
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The contingent itself has been practicing at the Indira Gandhi Stadium for months now without a coach. The face of Indian Gymnastics, Dipa Karmakar has also been reportedly practicing with them although she is set to miss out on being a part of the Gold Coast squad due to an injury. One must remember here that this apathy by the Gymnastics Federation of India has been around for quite some time now. Even when it came to selecting the squad who would be representing India at the Commonwealth Games, initially, names like Rakesh Kumar Patra were left out for no conceivable reason whatsoever. After an outcry of protests that rose in support of the Odisha-born artistic gymnast, authorities were forced to include his name which were then sent to the Commonwealth Games Federation at the very last minute. Speaking to a Bengali daily
Ei Samay
, Dipa Karmakar's coach Biseshwar Nandi said, 'I have never seen something like this. It is only possible in this country." Senior coaches like Jayprakash Chakraborty have also been kept in the dark. 'We have no idea when they will announce the coach's name,' Chakraborty was quoted as saying. Some like Ashish Kumar have chosen to fly to Australia with their personal coaches while Rakesh Kumar Patra has since been practicing with his own personal coach. IOA's top picks for the spot at the moment appear to be GS Bawa, who despite retiring still remains the chief coach at National camps and, Kalpana Debnath. However, the National Olympic Committee rejected their appointment as the designated coach on grounds that neither of them have pupils in the current contingent.
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