The deadline for sending the entries had been extended twice, from September 10 to 15, and then to September 21.
Hopes of winning a medal at the 4th Asian Youth Para Games were dashed on Monday when news of the entry of 13 Indian para-shuttlers had been rejected by the organisers because it had been “sent late” by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI). Indian para-shuttler Palak Kohli has pleaded with those in charge, including the event organizers, to allow the entries because it would be the last chance for several people like her to compete in an under-20 event in their career.
“There is only one Asian event for junior para-athletes @Asianyouthgame held once in 4 years. This event may be the first and last for many of us since we cross the age limit next time. Very disheartening to know “Entries not sent” Appeal to @asianparalympic. Pl care for us,” Kohli had tweeted.
Kohli, the only Indian woman shuttler to compete in three events in Tokyo, is 19 years old and will be ineligible for the Asian Youth Para Games in 2024. “I have requested everyone, including the organisers, for the entry even now. Why should I suffer for others’ mistake? The last date of entry was September 21, and from the very next day I have been running from pillar to post to get an entry at the event,” Kohli, who has six international medals, including gold at the 2019 BWF Para-Badminton International, said as per a report published by Hindustan Times. “I am very disappointed and frustrated but still keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for a last-minute entry,” she added.
The PCI only issued a circular for selection trials on September 19, despite the fact that the deadline for sending entries was September 21. The deadline in Bahrain had been extended twice, from September 10 to 15, and then to September 21. Some claim that the entries were forwarded to PCI on deadline day by the Badminton Association of India (BAI), which oversees para-badminton in India, but not in time. The PCI says it’s all over because the event’s organisers have refused to accept Indian entries. “As the organisers have denied, entry is no longer possible,” PCI secretary-general Gursharan Singh said on Tuesday.
“There was little time left for trials, etc. after coming back from the Tokyo Paralympics. The PCI insisted that the organisers extend the last date, but they didn’t. Even China missed the entry; we also missed the entry for taekwondo,” he said as per Hindustan Times. “We should have been allowed enough time to send entries. Now, they (organisers) are overburdened with more than 1,000 entries for the games. They have a shortage of accommodation due to COVID protocols, etc,” Singh added.
However, Singh denied any “differences” with BAI, after some athletes accused PCI of being “biased” toward shuttlers. “PCI and BAI are both very cooperative, and there is no disagreement between us. BAI, too, did not send the player list on time because they did not have time for trials, etc. following the Tokyo Paralympics,” he said.
“PCI didn’t want the shuttlers to suffer and it’s very unfortunate. I kept trying my best till late last evening and even talked to the Asian Paralympic Council chief, but it didn’t work. For sure, we will send our shuttlers for the world championships and other events in the near future,” Singh concluded.