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No kits, no opening ceremony for Antil, Poonia

 

Marching behind the national flag at the biggest sporting stage of all — the Olympic Games — is a dream of every athlete. But if one has to forgo this historic moment, and that too because of a flimsy reason, it can only lead to one emotion — extreme anguish. Discus throwers Seema Antil and Krishna Poonia, and 3000m steeplechaser, Sudha Singh, will not be able to take part in the gala ceremony on Friday as they have not yet received their ceremonial dresses.

 

Thanks to the ill-coordinated and casual approach of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the three athletes, who flew into London from their training bases in Europe quite early, have not received their kits and ceremonial dresses. They will receive the parcels when the remaining Indian athletes reach London on July 28, a day after the opening ceremony.

 

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had issued the kits of athletes to their respective national federations. Rather than coordinate with the IOA to have them sent to London in time, the AFI decided to send them with the athletics contingent.

 

"Had we received the kits in time, we could have attended the opening ceremony. But now, we cannot be part of the grand occasion. Rather than crib about it, we will utilise the time training," said one of the athletes on condition of anonymity.

 

Seema is grappling with a problem on another front. After arriving in London, she had to wait for four days for her accreditation as the AFI had not forwarded her name. Till date, she has not entered the Games Village as the chief coach, Bahadur Singh, with whom she has been attached, will be reaching London only on July 28.

07/27/2012



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