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Power struggle costs gymnasts dear

india Updated: Sep 08, 2011 02:00 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times
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Engaged in a power struggle, top Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) officials missed the deadline to send entries for the 4th Commonwealth Youth Games, which got underway at Isle of Man on Wednesday.

During the second edition of the Games in 2005 (Australia), gymnast Rohit Jaiswal had clinched a bronze, and the prospects of winning a medal in this edition too were good.

The newly elected GFI secretary-general, Kaushik Bidiwala, blamed the federation elections in July for the mess. "I took charge on July 30 and by then the deadline for sending entries had expired," he told HT from Surat.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/08_09_pg20c.jpg

The gymnasts had been short-listed for the competition much earlier, but the federation officials got busy with the elections and forgot their duty towards sportspersons.

The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) officials went a step further. They short-listed the players for the Commonwealth Youth event, but realised later that those selected had missed the qualifying standards, hence scrapped the team.

SFI secretary-general, Kamlesh Nanawati, said the team wasn't cleared, as the chances of winning medals were bleak.

"Our standard isn't good enough, hence we opted out of the meet," he said. India has fielded teams in athletics, badminton, boxing and cycling in the weeklong event, while the Rugby 7s team could not make it, as the sport doesn't have a recognised federation in the country.

The 20-member Indian contingent's departure for the Commonwealth Youth Games was delayed until Wednesday morning as it had filled up the wrong visa forms.