Goof-up spoils Gurmeet show | india | Hindustan Times
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Goof-up spoils Gurmeet show

Gurmeet Singh should have been celebrating given his national record-breaking performance in the men's 20 km walk event at the Indian Grand Prix meet on Tuesday but an Athletic Federation of India (AFI) slip up might well leave the international athlete disappointed.

india Updated: May 03, 2011 22:44 IST
Navneet Singh

Gurmeet Singh should have been celebrating given his national record-breaking performance in the men's 20 km walk event at the Indian Grand Prix meet on Tuesday but an Athletic Federation of India (AFI) slip up might well leave the international athlete disappointed.

Gurmeet's effort of 1:20:35.00 was within the London Olympic Games qualifying (A-standard) mark of 1:22:30 and it shattered the previous record of 1:23:06 that was set by Babu Bhai Panocha in 2009 during the World Athletics Championships held in Berlin.

As per the rules, the AFI technical delegate for the event, Padam Guleria, should have appointed qualified officials for the walk race but failed to do the needful. Trainees undergoing the coach's course in athletics at NIS, Patiala, were appointed to conduct the race instead.

As a result, Gurmeet's time will most likely not be considered for the record books. More importantly, Gurmeet would have to target another competition to book a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics.

"Without qualified officials record cannot be ratified," explained an official.

"This case is no exception."

Guleria passed the buck and said, it was not his job to appoint qualified officials for the race, but the federation's, which hinted at the communication gap among the top officials of the AFI.

Moreover, Guleria was the man that the apex body had appointed to oversee the technical aspect of the competition.

The performances in the other events held in the one-day competition were pedestrian.

The women's 800m event was cancelled due to lack of participants.