NEW DELHI: Lack of basic medical facilities in the national preparatory camp has sidelined Chhavi Sherawat, a member of the 4x400m relay team, for the Rio Olympics.
Despite having a recovery expert (Andre Filimonua has been hired for $8500 (Rs 5.7 lakh) per month) attached with the team, Chhavi has got no respite from the back pain she has been suffering from since January.
She has been dropped from the national team and her chances of making a comeback look doubtful. “I haven’t trained properly for the last five months,” a dejected Chhavi told HT. “Nobody has really helped me to get the problem diagnosed and I have been running around.”
While the rest of the women’s 400m group is in Poland for advanced training, Chhavi is recovering at Patiala’s centre of excellence.
Three years ago, Chhavi (22) was considered a potential 400m runner. On the basis of her 53.85 seconds clocked at the 2013 national meet in Ranchi, she was selected for 4x400m relay squad being prepared for Rio.
Last March, she joined the national camp in Thiruvananthapuram. She was also a member of the national team that went to Turkey in November for a 90-day advanced training stint. But mild stiffness in the lower back area aggravated to a serious problem in January.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) secretary, CK Valson, said it was unfortunate that she was out due to injury. “A lot of money has been spent on the athletes in the camp. If someone is not able to recover it is a setback for the team.”
Valson denied the recovery expert was to be blamed. “We have got a positive feedback from athletes,” he added. Her comeback looks doubtful, but Chhavi said: “I have four weeks to prove myself,” she said, eyeing the domestic meet in Hyderabad next month, which is also a Rio qualifying meet.