Dipa Karmakar, along with other Indian gymnasts, were given a worrying sign on Sunday after the top Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI) official claimed that Sports India (formerly Sports Authority of India) was yet to give them clearance for the upcoming World Cups at Baku and Doha.
The GFI had successfully registered Karmakar for the back-to-back World Cups scheduled from March 14-17 and March 20-23 at Azerbaijan and Qatar, respectively. Yogeshwar Singh and Ashish Kumar where the other entries of in the men’s artistic section at the Doha event.
Dipa Karmakar’s clearance delay for World Cup 2019
However, SI has yet not sanctioned the gymnasts’ tours with the Baku World Cup commencing in less than 2 weeks. The two World Cups are vital from an Olympic point of view since they are a part of the 2020 Olympic Qualification series.
The GFI has even nominated Riyaz Bhati, its vice president, to accompany the delegation at the two events.
However, Bhati has sensationally claimed that Rajinder Pathania, the SI Project Manager, isn’t sanctioning the team since he wants to attend the World Cups.
“Lack of Clarity from SI”
“GFI has fulfilled its responsibilities concerning registration in a fair & timely manner & have informed all concerned. However, there is a lack of clarity from the Sports Authority of India & the sanction has still not been released with just ten days remaining for departure for World Cup in Baku,” he said.
“As the vice president of Gymnastics Federation of India, I have been registered as head of the delegation for both the World Cups. I personally called up Mr Rajinder Pathania to check the status and he informed that an official from SAI, preferably himself, should be registered to enable him to get the file cleared.”
“I informed him that the federation will do the needful provided we have a formal communication from SAI.” Pathania has failed to respond to PTI’s repeated calls.
Ranjeet Vasava, GFI general secretary, said in a press release that the federation have “confirmed the registration to the gymnasts individually as well as collectively to the Sports Authority of India with a request to provide financial support to the gymnasts. We hope that SAI would provide the needful assistance to the gymnasts.”
Also Watch | Dipa clinch the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Bronze
Last year, Indian gymnasts had missed the 36th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Later on, the Sports Ministry refused to sanction the team for the Doha 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships as the GFI is de-recognised and stands suspended in accordance with the national sports code.
Dipa has given a promising start to her Tokyo Olympics qualifying bid by clinching a bronze at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany in 2018. She will perform in the Vault and Beam event at both the World Cups. Karmakar will be accompanied by her coach Bishweshwar Nandi along with the physiotherapist Sajad Ahmad Mir.
— Dipa Karmakar (@DipaKarmakar) January 25, 2019
In January, Dipa had launched her biography, “Dipa Karmakar – The Small Wonder” in presence of the batting legend, Sachin Tendulkar.