Delhi’s Sumit Choudhary, an Under-13 player, was debarred from playing the U-13 singles at the Pramod Mahajan Badminton Tournament on Monday following an overage complaint.
BS Bisht, father of 11-year-old Arinjay, lodged the complaint with the chief referee after his son lost to Choudhary in straight games.
“Anybody can make out from his (Choudhary’s) physique that he is not less than 16-17 years of age. My son looked a dot before him. The boy just does not fit the U-13 category,” said Bisht.
Sudhanshu Mittal, patron of the event said, “After the issue was brought to our notice, we barred Choudhary from playing pending a medical examination. We will probably take him for medical tomorrow. We cannot take action against anyone unless we receive a written complaint,” said Mittal.
Asked about the age certificate submitted by Choudhary, the Delhi Badminton Association vice-president and chief referee, Sushil Bhatia said: “He had submitted a letter signed by his school principal stating his age to be 12. When we phoned up the principal, she said the school authorities had received an affidavit from Choudhary verifying the age.”
Choudhary said he wasn’t nervous and was willing to take the age-determination test, “I know I will come out clean. I don’t know why they are doing this to me. I have all the necessary documents. Still, they are doubting my credentials.”
The protest letter submitted to the tournament authorities — a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times — states that the birth certificate does not bear the name of the principal alongside her signature.
Arinjay Bisht’s coach, Ajay Kanwar, was furious. “Why is the DBA not doing anything? I am shocked with their apathy.” Bhatia, on the other hand, said he couldn’t bar the player on the basis of appearance, “He had all the necessary documents. There is no reason whatsoever to expel him from the event,” he said.
In the men’s singles, Tanvir Gill beat Gagan in straight games (21-8, 22-20) to enter the quarterfinal stage. Himanshu Kharbanda defeated Abhinav Prakash 10-21, 21-19, 21-6.