Asian Games 2018 athletes list: 6 Indians who will miss these games

6 min read
asian games 2018 athletes list

Asian Games 2018 athletes list

Just when things were beginning to look bright for India’s 804 member contingent (including 572 athletes) for the soon-to-commence 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang – some bad news has come our way. asian games 2018 athletes list

On August 16, Leander Paes decided to pull out of the Asian Games owing to his inability to get a specialist partner for the double’s event. The bronze medalist at the Atlanta Olympics was touted to team up with young rookie Sumit Nagal as the pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan had already been confirmed.

This practically impelled Paes to partner with Sumit or Ramkumar Ramanathan.

‘A Heavy Heart’

paes-asian games 2018 athletes list - kreedon
Paes will be missing this Asian Games again (AP Photo)

Paes, who had missed the previous two editions, had asked AITA to explain why he was disregarded for the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme despite not eliciting a favorable response.

In an official statement, he said, “It is with a heavy heart that I have to say that I will not be playing the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia. Despite my repeated requests, from so many weeks in advance, it is sad that we have not been able to put a doubles specialist in the team for credible second doubles pairing for the Asian Games.”

He went on to add, “Ramkumar Ramanathan is a very good player, and I would love to play doubles with him. But considering that he has a golden chance to win the singles medal, it is not fair to distract him from his best event” while asserting that his absence would not hurt India’s prospects.

Other performers who will be missing in action  

Sadly, Paes is not the only one to be missed in the upcoming Asian Games that takes off on August 18. F

From Punam Yadav and Mary Kom to Sanjita Chanu, some incredibly talented performers will not be able to be part of the Indian contingent to Jakarta either due to injuries, personal reasons or doping issues.

Here’s a run-down on 5 more athletes we’ll badly miss.

 

Mary Kom

To say that it was a sad day for millions of boxing fans in India when Mary Kom announced her decision not to participate in the Asian Games would be a gross understatement.

The 35-year old Commonwealth Games gold medalist Mary Kom opted out because the Asian Games lacked a 48-KG category, which is her preferred category. In June, she had stated, “Right now I am focussed on winning gold at the World Championships in that weight category. Also, I have won medals at the Asian Games which include a gold and bronze in the 51kg event. Now I want to give a chance to the upcoming youngsters.”

She is also recuperating after having suffered an injury

In her absence, Manipur’s sporting icon Sarjubala Devi will take India’s contingent forward in the 51 KG category. Other exciting prospects include Pavitra (60kg) and Sonia Lather (57kg), who win the silver medal at the 2016 World Championship.

 

Punam Yadav

Another sporting talent that will be sorely missed from our talented contingent will be Punam Yadav.

After she was excluded from the TOP scheme, the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) affirmed that she would not be a part of the weightlifting team citing ‘indiscipline’ on her part.

This is because she reportedly did not join a training camp that was made mandatory by the IWLF, whih was clearly unhappy with the way she responded to the suspension notice.

This came as a major setback as barely a few days after Punam bagged the Commonwealth Games weightlifting gold in the 69KG category, she got herself embroiled in a land-related skirmish at her village situated in Varanasi.

After her victorious outing in the Commonwealth Games in April, the IWLF had directed Punam to undergo a dope test at her own expense before attending the controversial traning camp.   

Well, we certainly hope that things begin to improve for Punam and she gets back to what she does best – bringing laurels to our India – after resolving all her issues.

 

Sanjita Chanu

The Manipur-born two-time Commonwealth Games Weightlifting champion is another exciting prospect that will not be seen at the imminent Asian Games. On May 30, Sanjita Chanu was suspended after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid (testosterone) in an off-competition doping test.

Importantly, this sample was taken before the World Championship held in Anaheim (USA) back in November 2017.

Refusing to take the matter lying down, her family alleged foul play in the matter and even took up the issue to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Meanwhile IWLF Secretary Sahdev Yadav dismissed all such allegations, adding that all these tests are necessary to ensure the safety of athletes. He also stated that the federation lacks jurisdiction in a matter involving duping and does not want to be seen protecting a tainted athlete.

This is ironic considering the fact that Sanjita found inclusion in the TOP scheme to finance her preparation for the Asian Games. For now, she will be certainly missed by her fans and the country at large.

 

Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai is a power-packed performer who made heads turn with her stunning performance at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games where she struck gold. However, she left her fans disappointed by pulling out of the Asian Games (on August 07) to recover from an un-diagnosed back injury.

The champion boxer has been struggling a nagging back problem since May of this year and has not yet been able to resume her training. Notably, her withdrawal was recommended by national coach Vijay Sharma to the IWLF in order to regain her fitness for the Olympic qualifiers.

He observed, “The Olympic qualifiers event is approaching and that is more important than the Asian Games.”

While this view may be contentious, considering that every sporting event is important, we wish Mirabai a speedy recovery and hope to see her back in action sooner rather than later!

 

Twjaswin Shankar

Tejaswin Shankar, who holds the national record in high jump, will also not be participating in the Asian Games due to a potentially serious neck injury.

The 19-year old has had an impressive run this year when he bettered his own record of 2.26 m (set in 2016) by clearing 2.28 m in March 2018 during the much coveted National Championships held in Pataila. Subsequently, he also completed a 2.29m jump in a US-based meet this May.

Shankar has also bagged gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games (2015), setting a record of 2.14 m. Then, he went on to win the silver medal at the 2016 South Asian Games that were held in Guwahati with a jump of 2.17 m.

A student of business administration at the prestigious Kansas State University, Shankar’s absence inflicts a serious blow to India’s medal prospects in athletics.

 

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