[India], Jan 10 (ANI): Para athlete Sakina Khatun, who was struck down by polio when she was just one-and-a-half years old, will not represent India at next year's Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia despite being at the number two spot in CWG and Asian rankings.
The 28-year-old, who is the only Indian para-athlete to clinch a medal at the Commonwealth Games---bronze in lightweight category in Glasgow--till date, was ignored during the selection of the contingent for the prestigious games.
Sakina's axing came despite the athlete meeting the eligibility criteria as marked by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
Reflecting on the same, Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) CEO Shamshad said that it seems that Commonwealth Games organising committee had inadvertently missed out Sakina's name in collaboration with the International Paralympics Committee (IPC).
Shamshad further believes that maybe Sakina's name was not there in the tracking system for athletes used by organisers to identify an athlete's qualification criteria.
"I am really not aware as to how Commonwealth Games organizing committee has missed out her name. This is the first time that the new qualification system has been introduced by the Commonwealth Games organizing committee in collaboration with the IPC. The idea is basically to shortlist people and has only those athletes participating who have participated at the international level in some tournament or the other. It seems apparently that the Commonwealth Games organising committee which have been following a tracking system for the athletes has inadvertently missed out on Sakina's name," Shamshad told ANI.
He, however, said that the PCI would take up this issue in writing before the IOA and would ask them to consider her name for the prestigious games.
"As far as PCI is concerned, we had recommended her name for the coaching camp way back in October that she should be there. We also sent her to Mexico to participate in the World Championship. I visited the IOA and said that there seem to be some error somewhere. I have suggested that we will take it up in writing to the IOA that her name should be considered for inclusion for the upcoming games," he said.
Meanwhile, PCI vice-president Gursharan Singh also told that it is the IPC who missed Sakina's name for the 2018 Commonwealth Games
He added that the country's paralympic committee had a conversation with the IOA regarding the same and that they would now write to IPC to consider Sakina's name for the prestigious games.
The five para-athletes who are selected in India's CWG squad include powerlifters Sachin Chaudhary in the heavyweight (above 61kg category), Farman Basha and Ashok in the lightweight category (up to 72kg) and two women table tennis players Maitri Sarkar and Vaishnavi Vinayak. (ANI)