The Athletics Federation of India has requested the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to consider PU Chitra in the upcoming World Championships after the Sports Minister Vijay Goel advised the national body to honour Kerala High Court’s decision.
In their reply, AFI said that they have written to the IAAF and now Chitra’s inclusion depends on international federation’s court.
“We have formally written to IAAF to consider P U Chitra’s entry as an Indian participation in women’s 1500m race. It is now up to IAAF to accept the request or not,” AFI secretary C K Valson told PTI.
Chitra filed a written petition after her exclusion from the Indian squad for the Athletics World Championships, despite her winning a gold medal for the country in the women’s 1500m event in the Asian Athletics Championships.
In reply to Chitra’s plea, the Kerala High Court had directed the central government to ensure participation of Chitra in the World Athletics Championships which is scheduled in London in August.
“Shri Goel talked to AFI President Shri Adille Sumariwalla on the issue and advised him not to contest the directive given by the Kerala High Court as P U Chitra is otherwise a wild card entry for the World Championship,” the sports ministry said.
Sources, however, said that it will be difficult for the IAAF to grant a place to Chitra as deadline for the online entry of the athletes is already over.
With the deadline for the online entry of the athletes already over, Chitra’s inclusion is very sleek.
“From our part, we can no longer access the password protected entry of the athletes as it has passed the deadline. We have to see what the IAAF does for only one country. I think it will be difficult for Chitra to get an entry,” an athletics expert said.
Kerala HC also observed that the selection process was not transparent and a couple of qualified athletes were not named in the squad.
As per the guidelines, AAC winners automatically qualify for the World Championships but the international body has clearly stated that the national federations have the power of not sending a continental event winner.
Interestingly, long distance runners Sudha Singh and Ajay Kumar Saroj have been dropped. But the duo did not take the legal route.