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No 2 powerlifter ignored for Commonwealth Games

No 2 powerlifter ignored for Commonwealth Games

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Published: 26 Jan 2018 3:49 AM GMT
On day 10 of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, India's Sakina Khatun gave India her first medal for the day when she won a Powerlifting bronze. 4 years on, this No. 2 ranked powerlifter has been ignored for the upcoming Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast. Back at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Indian powerlifter Sakina Khatunlifted a total weight of 88.2kg to finish third in the women's lightweight category (up to 61kg). At that time, it seemed like the end of all her problems. The then 25-year old Bangalore-based powerlifter had had a tough life so far. Hailing from Basirhat in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, she was born to a poor family. The daughter of a predominantly farming family, her mother works as a labourer while her ailing father was bedridden. So dire was their condition that Sakina's family was unable to afford medicine for his treatment. Coming from that to being mentored in the right way by Paralympian Farman Basha, the story of Sakina Khatun is indeed inspirational.
Source: DNA Now, however, the tables seem to have turned. Towards the beginning of this year, there were reports on how the Paralympic Committee of India had reportedly ignored Sakina's prowess in the respective field by leaving her out of the squad for Gold Coast. As things stood, Sakina had met the PCI's eligibility criteria. The Times of India had reported contacting quite a few officers from the Paralympic administrative body but each call had been met with silence and the matter, thus remained, without any closure. Moreover, Sakina is the only woman para-athlete in India's history to win a medal at the CWG (bronze in lightweight category in Glasgow) till date. Despite her remarkable track record, her exclusion from the squad seems to be without justifications. What transpired from various attempts to reach the root of the matter was that Sakina's entry was never sent to the CWG organisers despite India having three slots per gender available in the discipline. After several reports of PCI administrators refusing to take any responsibility for the matter, it has now emerged that they have finally taken it upon themselves to send in her nomination to the Commonwealth Games Federation thus effectively starting the process of her participation in the Games. They have no finally written to the Indian Olympic Association asking it to request the Gold Coast organising Committee to accept the late applications of para powerlifter Sakina Khatun and Jaideep- another male powerlifter. Even here, things are problematic. According to the letter sent in by PCI, the request to include Sakina and Jaideep's names comes with a plea that calls upon their World Championships performance as an adequate reason for their inclusion. However, the eligibility period for the CWG selection spans from September 1, 2015, to October 31, 2017. If this is the case, their World Championships performance, brilliant as they may be, have no room in the Organising Committee's considerations.
Source: DNA This is gross negligence, in the clearest of terms. Sakina had been touted as one of India's best medal hopes at Gold Coast and no, because of several lags and inefficiencies, the powerlifter may miss out on a Commonwealth berth altogether. The PCI, however, remains optimistic. According to the latest quotes given be senior news officials to various outlets, the names of the two powerlifters have been sent to the Organising Committee following an assurance from the Indian Olympic Association. All one can do now is hope for the best regarding Sakina's participation. This is definitely not a matter that should be allowed to die down.
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