Rakesh Patra has been selected ahead of gymnasts Mohd Bobby and Gaurav Kumar for Commonwealth Games 2018.(Getty Images)
Rakesh Patra has been selected ahead of gymnasts Mohd Bobby and Gaurav Kumar for Commonwealth Games 2018.(Getty Images)

Court questions gymnastics federation’s selection for Commonwealth Games 2018

The Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) was on Monday asked by the Delhi High Court to process applications for the licence of two gymnasts to enable their participation at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Press Trust of India, New Delhi | By Press Trust of India
UPDATED ON APR 02, 2018 11:20 PM IST

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) to process the applications for licence of two gymnasts to enable them to participate in the Commonwealth Games in Australia, and questioned GFI how the gymnasts who scored good ranks were not selected.

The court was hearing a petition filed by gymnasts Mohd Bobby and Gaurav Kumar, claiming that even though they have scored higher rank and points in the selection trials, they have not been selected for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Justice Shakdher questioned the GFI as to how the gymnasts who scored good ranks were not selected and those who got a lower rank were sent for the competition and said there has to be a strong reason for doing so.

The court asked the GFI to process the applications of the two gymnasts for obtaining FIG licence, an identification card issued by the sport’s world governing body - FIG - to all gymnasts in order to participate in international competitions.

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It was informed that the Commonwealth Games is scheduled to commence from April 5 and three Indian gymnasts have already been sent to Australia.

The court, which listed the matter for April 10, had earlier issued notices to the Indian Olympic Association, GFI, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Advocate Abhishek Sharma, appearing for Bobby and Kumar, said instead of them, Yogeshwar Singh, who ranked sixth, and Rakesh Patra, who ranked 25th, have been selected and sent for the CWG and the GFI has not been taking any interest in the petitioners’ FIG licence ID.

The counsel for the GFI said the two gymnasts were not sent for the event as they did not have FIG licence which is mandatory for participation in an international event and the quota was of three candidates who have already been sent to Australia.

The Central government’s standing counsel Monika Arora, appearing for the ministry, said they do not have any role in the selection process and they just forward the names received by them through the concerned federations.

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However, Sharma said when they enquired from FIG, Switzerland, they were informed that the GFI had applied for the two gymnasts FIG licence ID but the forms sent were incomplete and illegible and the federation took no steps to rectify the errors.

He claimed that they were informed by the FIG that they still have a chance to participate, if the duly signed and filled forms are submitted.

“Due to GFI’s inaction/carelessness, the two gymnasts’ licence process could not be completed. They still stand a chance if GFI applied for their FIG licence ID by sending their applications forms for FIG licence duly signed and stamped.

“The two gymnasts are on the verge of losing a golden opportunity of representing the country in CWG, 2018,” the petition claimed.

Earlier, Patra had also filed a petition in the high court when his name was initially omitted owing to a tussle between the Gymnastics federation and the Indian Olympic Association. After filing of the plea, counsel for Indian Olympics Association informed the court that his has been included in the games.

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