- Dipa Karmakar might miss the 2019 Asian Championship
- SAI's selection trial is only open to 8-10 Indian gymnasts
- Asian C'ship will be held in Mongolia from June 19 to 22
The participation of top Indian gymnasts, including Dipa Karmakar and Rakesh Patra, for the 2019 Asian Championship is in danger after the recent events. Sports Authority of India (SAI) called for the selection trials on the 17th May, open only to 8-10 gymnasts.
According to Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI), SAI has kept the selection trial open to only 8-10 gymnasts who were selected for the National Coaching Camp on 12th and 13th April. The selection trials are for the 2019 Asian Championship, Mongolia, from June 19th to 22nd.
Dipa to miss Asian Championship?
In such a scenario, top gymnasts, Dipa and Patra will not even get a chance to perform at the selection trials, let alone represent India at the Asian Championship. SAI’s decision has also put the participation of other top Indians, Aruna Reddy, Siddharth Verma and Aditya Rana in jeopardy for the competition.
More than 12 top gymnasts from the country have already written to SAI, expressing their concern regarding the organization’s decision. GFI vice President, Riyaz Bhati expressed his concerns about the authenticity of the trials.
“This is totally unfair and unacceptable act by SAI putting the gymnasts from across the country in undue hardship. Our gymnasts deserve an opportunity to perform at the trials, they deserve to have sufficient time to prepare for any trial and they deserve to have their performance judged correctly.” he said.
GFI had sent SAI a proposal on 24th April with details regarding the team selection and trials before 17th May which is the deadline for sending names to Asian Championship organizers. However, they failed to get any response from SAI before the hurried and unplanned trail decision that was taken on Tuesday.
GFI’s letter to SAI:
In his letter to SAI, GFI general secretary Ranjeet Vasava, strongly condemned SAI’s decision, saying, “Restricting the trails to only few gymnasts without declaration of such policy and criteria in advance is unjustified.”
The two-day notice given by SAI for the selection trials will also put the gymnasts under “unnecessary burden on the gymnasts” and “expose them to injury.”
The General Secretary also expressed his concerns about the quality of judges for the trials. According to GFI, most of the judges are not even qualified as national or international, which would compromise the entire selection process.
GFI has also suggested a way out in the letter. “Nominate up to 4 gymnasts each in MAG and WAG for the Selection Trials over and above the gymnasts who have been selected for the National Camp” and “trials should be postponed to the first week of June 2019 thereby giving reasonable notice to gymnasts.”
The federation finally asked for proper answers from SAI, suggesting them to publish rational selection criteria for the selection trials according to Asian Championship’s format.