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Sudha Singh features in IAAF list for World Championships, AFI says no to participation

Modified 18 Dec 2019, 20:51 IST


Sudha Singh

What's the story?

The selection of the Indian team for the IAAF World Athletics Championships found itself in the midst of a controversy when 3000m steeplechaser Sudha Singh found her name listed for participation in the IAAF list. The Athletics Federation of India, however, ruled out her participation claiming that she did not originally feature in the final 24-member squad that was selected by them.

The reason as to why Sudha's name appeared in the IAAF list is still not clear. However, Sportskeeda's sources close to the AFI have suggested that it is an error on part of the officials, who might have forgotten to remove her name after her low timings post the Asian Athletics Championships and that she will not travel to London.

In case you didn't know

Renowned steeplechaser Sudha Singh did not find her name going up for participation despite bringing home the gold medal at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar. She, along with P U Chitra and Ajoy Kumar Saroj, a gold winner himself, were left out of the squad, on grounds of performance that were poorer than even the junior national records.

The heart of the matter

This latest controversy unfolded after the women's 1500m winner, P U Chitra, went ahead and filed a writ petition at the Kerala High Court, questioning her non-inclusion in the national team despite her win at the continental event. Even though the winners of Asian Championships do qualify, the IAAF states that it is within the power of the national federation to rule out a winner.

The High Court, however, ordered the inclusion of Chitra, along with the advice of the Sports Ministry. Ajoy and Sudha are said to have not opted for any legal route for the inclusion of their names. Therefore, it came as a surprise when Sudha's name appeared 23rd out of the 26 already chosen.

What's next?

To add to the already confusing controversy, the AFI has accepted the IAAF's invite to sprinter Dutee Chand as a quota entry. This was done to fill up the women's 100m dash target of 56 runners. With Dutee's entry, the number of Indian participants reached 25. However, the number now stands at 26 with the inclusion of Sudha's name.

Author's take

Even though it has been confirmed by the AFI that Sudha will not be taking part in the tournament, it is disheartening to see that a lapse on the part of the officials can lead to breaking the morale of a sportsman or sportswoman.

Sudha, being a gold medal winner, and already aware of her exclusion from the squad, surely does not deserve to find herself in the midst of such an "error".

Published 30 Jul 2017, 17:33 IST
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