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Doubt looms over top Gymnasts participation at Asian Championship

Doubt looms over top Gymnasts participation at Asian Championship

Shivansh Gupta

Published: 17 May 2019 12:54 PM GMT
Imagine being told one morning that you will have to write your board exams in 2 days time, as opposed to no board exams at all ? Jaw-striking, right? That's exactly top gymnasts of India like Dipa karmakar and Aruna Reddy are going through at the moment. In a shocking announcement, the Sports Authority of India unexpectedly called for the selection trials of gymnasts on May 17 to pick the team for the Asian Championships, scheduled to be held at Mongolia from June 19 to 22. SAI, on Tuesday night, caught the entire sporting fraternity of India by surprise after announcing the trials on may 17 which is the last date to send entries to organizers for Asian championship.The Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) had requested SAI on 24 April to conduct selection trials well ahead in time. What baffles the GFI even further is that the selections trials will not be open to all. They are only meant for top 8-10 gymnasts who were selected for the National Coaching Camp during the trials conducted by SAI in April this year. This has now put the participation of stalwarts like Dipa Karmakar and Rakesh Patra into jeopardy. Moreover, gymnasts such as Siddharth Vermna, Aruna Reddy and Aditya Rana may not even get an opportunity to showcase their true abilities. As per PTI reports,several gymnasts wrote to SAI, the Sports Ministry and GFI to voice their concerns. The federation had already written a letter to SAI, questioning the hastiness of this decision. In the letter, they raised doubts over the eligibility of the gymnasts participating in the trials, the selection criteria and the credibility of the judges appointed for the trials. SAI stated that most of the judges selection for trials are not qualified enough. Some of them are neither meet National nor International standards. This poses a big problem as this irregularity of selection of judges is bound to compromise the while process. Several gymnasts' coaches have come out in the open and expressed their disappointment. Karmakar's coach, Bishweshnar Nandi said that the trials should be conducted to select the best team. The Dronacharya Awardee recipient also stated, while speaking to PTI, that the athletes' should be given a two-week prior notice. In his letter, GFI general secretary, Ranjeet Vasava said that limiting these trials to a few gymnasts is totally unfair. In addition to this, such rushed trials would also make them injury prone. PTI further reported that GFI has also pitched in a few suggestions. They have asked SAI to allow them to select four athletes each in MAG and WAG for the selection trials. They have also requested the authority to postpone the trials to the first of June, allowing enough preparation time for the gymnasts. Lastly, GFI has asked for a revamp in the selection criteria, urging the officials to publish 'rational selection criteria' in the accordance to the format of the upcoming Asian Championships.
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