Promising Delhi shot putter Shakti Solanki has been left out of the Indian athletics team for next month’s second Asian Youth Games to be held in Nanjing,China after he missed the selection trials.
Solanki,who hurled the iron ball to a stupendous distance of 19.09m in the National Youth Championships in Guntur in May that put him in the sixth spot in the world list then,missed the trials held on July 26 in Thiruvananthapuram.
Orissa’s teenage sprinter and medal prospect Dutee Chand was also named in the 27-member team,which has 13 girls,for the August 16-24 multi-sporting event meant for athletes under 18 years of age.
In the first edition held in Singapore four years ago,Indian track and field athletes had bagged four gold,two silver and two bronze medals.
Under OCA banner
Meanwhile,the Indians will participate in the Youth Asian Games as independent athletes under the banner of the Olympic Council of Asia. This is the second time in recent months that the Indians will not compete under the tri-colour in a multi-sporting event.
The Indians had participated under the OCA banner in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Incheon,South Korea from June 29 to July 6.
Earlier,the government was hoping that the issue of India’s ban from the Olympic fold in December last year would be resolved and the athletes would represent the country in the Youth Asian Games.
“We were thinking that by the time Youth Asian Games is held the ban on India would have been lifted. But now it is not happening,so the athletes will take part as independent Olympic athletes under the banner of OCA,” Sports Secretary P K Deb said. Asked if the young athletes would be deprived of any rewards or incentives if they win medals,Deb said,”Whether they play under national flag or not,they will get the rewards if they win medals. “Playing as independent Olympic athletes would not be counted against them in the current circumstances,” Deb said.
It is also learnt that the respective federations have been told to approach the Sports Ministry to clear their athletes in the light of the confusion in the Indian Olympic Association on the issue of who would recommend them to the government.