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My CWG hopes are dwindling, I'm sinking into depression: Gymnast Ashish Kumar

India's most decorated male gymnast Ashish Kumar is sinking into depression as his hopes of making the Commonwealth Games squad continue to dwindle a month after alleging partiality in selection trials.

Ashish Kumar Gymnastics

Ashish Kumar



Updated: 11 Jun 2022 3:49 PM GMT

India's most decorated male gymnast Ashish Kumar is sinking into depression as his hopes of making the Commonwealth Games squad continue to dwindle a month after alleging partiality in selection trials. Kumar, who won medals at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2010, wrote to the Gymnastic Federation of India and Sports Authority of India, alleging that he "faced injustice" at the selection trials for the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The trials were held on May 11 and 12. He also requested to review the video footage of the performance of the top eight gymnasts during the trials by international judges. The SAI, accordingly, had asked the GFI to submit a report regarding the same and said it can set up a committee, if required, to probe the matter.

However, the 32-year-old Kumar said he is yet to hear anything either from the GFI or SAI, and that his "hopes are dying with each passing day".

"I am feeling depressed by this whole episode. I don't know why I am training. When you don't even know if you would be able to compete at the Commonwealth games, it is difficult to continue in such uncertainty.

"There has been no response from SAI or GFI despite my repeated mails. We play a difficult sport which needs a lot of mental strength. If you are not mentally okay, you might injure yourself," Kumar told PTI.

GFI president Suddir Mittal said that it has already submitted the report and the ball is in SAI's court. "We have submitted the report immediately after we were asked for it by SAI.It is up to them to take a decision on it," Mittal said.

On June 2, Kumar wrote another letter to SAI and GFI, seeking clarity. "I am writing this mail again to request you to please look into the complaint I have raised on the unfair selection and judgement for the core probables and World Challenge Cup selection trials dated 11-05-2022," he wrote.

Kumar had 5th highest score in All Around but he said he is still "nowhere in the World Challenge Cup teams nor in the list of abroad camp" while "other gymnasts who are in 7th and 8th are being selected for World Challenge Cups and foreign exposure". An eight-member Indian team, including four men and four women, on Wednesday left for FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup, which began on Thursday in Croatia.

The same team will also compete at Asian Championship. "If the teams are departing for World Challenge Cup on 8th June followed by Asian Championship and foreign exposure camp in France, then it's very clear that there is no possibility of CWG trials," Kumar lamented. Kumar also said the scores of a couple of Indian gymnasts competing at the ongoing World Challenge Cup proved his allegation of bias.

"If you look at the scores of qualification at Croatia, you will clearly understand the difference of the judgements made at trials and by the international officials. "In gymnastics, 0.1 to 0.5 point difference is okay but anything above it is a huge difference. Just look up at the scores of Yogeshwar who was 7th in trial but was still sent to Croatia. The other person is Abhijeet (2nd in trial), who is from Navy."

Yogeshwar Singh scored 12.60 in floor at the trials but he produced 12.000 on Friday at the world challenge. In horizontal bar and vault, Yogeshwar scored 12.90 and 14.35 in trials compared to 10.800 and 13.375 in Croatia. Abhijeet Kumar, on the other hand, had exactly similar score in trials and the world challenge, scoring 11.65 in pommel Horse.

However, his performance slipped in the horizontal bar as he scored 11.250 at Croatia compared to 12.85 in the selection trials. "Their scores are so vastly different at the world challenge then it was in the trials which clearly show the bias. "But I am still training with this slim hope of competing at open trials because I know I can win a CWG medal," Kumar signed off.

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