Commonwealth Games 2018: PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal’s parents to accompany squad
Parents of ace Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have been given the green signal by the government to accompany the Indian national badminton squad participating in next month’s Commonwealth Games, starting April 4 at Gold Coast.
Both Harvir Singh, father of Saina, and Vijaya Pusarla, mother of Sindhu, were cleared as contingent members on ‘no cost to government’ basis. It ended speculation of the two being dropped from the list of ‘extra officials’ as the government had earlier raised objection on parents’ inclusion in the Indian contingent.
The sports ministry on Monday cleared a contingent of 325 members, including 22 extra officials, as proposed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The full contingent comprises 221 athletes, 58 coaches, seven managers, 17 doctors and physiotherapists, and 22 extra officials.
The government, however, dropped medical expert Arun Mendiratta and female physiotherapist Hema Valecha from IOA staff, pruning the four-member medical team to two. Sachin Jain has been cleared as doctor, while Amit Soni as male physiotherapist.
Ronak Pandit, former international shooter and coach of pistol shooter Heena Sidhu, has also been given the go-ahead by government. He will accompany the shooting team as coach-cum-manager.
The men and women hockey squads comprising 50 members is the biggest, followed by track and field athletes (43) and 37 shooters.
The participation of high jumper Siddharth Yadav and 400m runner Vijaykumari GK, hasn’t been confirmed by the CWG organising committee, though the sports ministry has cleared their names.
Last week their names were proposed during the manager’s meeting, but the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is yet to get confirmation on their current status from the organising committee. Vijaykumari is currently training in Bengaulru while Yadav is training in Haryana. “We are hoping for a positive response from the organising committee,” said an AFI official on the development.
Initially, AFI had fielded the entries of the duo after the deadline of March 7 and it was declined. Vijyakumari is a member of the relay team, while Yadav achieved the CWG qualifying standard of 2.25m at Patiala’s Federation Cup athletics meet held from March 5 to 8.