In a first of its kind order, a sports federation has been asked to explain why its players were not able to win any medal at a sporting event. The Sports Ministry has asked the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) to submit a “detailed report” on why its 13 player-strong table tennis team representing India at the recently-concluded Asian Para Games in South Korea returned empty-handed.
India had sent 87 athletes to the Asian Para Games for the specially-abled, which immediately follows the Asian Games, in South Korea. The contingent returned with 33 medals. The table tennis team, however, did not win any. Twelve of the players were ousted in the first round itself, while one lost in the second round.
In a letter to Dhanraj Choudhary, secretary-general of TTFI, the Sports Ministry said that the “poor showing” of the table tennis players indicated that the federation had “made the selection/recommendation casually and without assessing the standard of performance of the players”.
It said that the TTFI should not have recommended “such a large number of players who have no potential to reach even the second round” of the competition.
The letter said TTFI’s approach was being “viewed seriously” by the ministry. “TTFI is directed to submit a detailed report on the para TT team indicating the selection criteria adopted, performance of the players in the Asian Para Games, the steps taken by TTFI for coaching/training of players, future plans to improve the performance, etc. The report should be submitted by TTFI by November 10 positively,” the letter said.