Denied entry by the IOA, a favourable Delhi High Court order has now paved the way for India’s traditional boat racing contingent to take part in the Asian Games in Indonesia from August 18-September 2.
Abhay Singh, one of the athletes in the boat racing squad, had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision to not send a team of the water sport at the Games as it did not meet the eligibility criteria.
He had sought High Court’s intervention in the matter after team returned home with a silver and bronze at an Asian level tournament.
The High Court ruled the matter in the petitioner’s favour and “directed the IOA to consider the case of the petitioner and team and take all steps to accredit the team to represent India in traditional boat racing”.
IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta confirmed sending the entries to Games Organisers following the High Court order. “We have sent the entries. Now it remains to be seen if the organise accept their entries,” said Mehta.
Prashant Kushwaha, secretary at the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association, told PTI that two teams comprising 16 men and 16 women were supposed to take part in the competition to be held in Palembang.
“But as of now we are not sure how many names the Sports Ministry would clear. A team comprises of 12 athletes including 10 paddlers, 1 drummer and a steerer,” said Kushwaha.
Boat racing’s inclusion is set to increase the size of the Asiad contingent. After announcing an initial list of 524 athletes, the IOA had last week revised the entries and the contingent now stands at a strong 541.
Earlier this month, the IOA had to clear men’s handball team for the Games after the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court intervened.