Ministry proposes, IOA disposes

Ministry proposes, IOA disposes

The Indian Olympic Association IOA has rejected the governments proposal to relax Asian Games selection norms for some specific sports, saying the...

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has rejected the government's proposal to relax Asian Games selection norms for some specific sports, saying the Sports Ministry's concerns have already been addressed while picking the contingent earlier this month.

The development comes after the ministry, on 18 July, had urged the IOA to relax selection norms in specific cases concerning athletes or sports who/which could not qualify due to lack of exposure or non-participation in ranking events but have a strong chance of either winning a medal or finishing in top four.

But the IOA stuck to its earlier criteria of picking athletes — top six in individual events and top eight in team sports — after a meeting of its Core Committee and Legal Committee.

"In the letter dated 18.07.2018, the Ministry has asked IOA to find out if any of the athletes or team who could not qualify among top 6 in individual athlete and top 8 in the team to examine whether they can come in top 4 in the Asian Games," IOA President Narinder Batra said in a letter written to the Sports Secretary in response to the earlier missive of the ministry.

"The Core Committee and Legal Committee of the IOA met on Friday and after detailed discussions and having done complete exercise and those who met the criteria of top 6 and top 8 were accordingly considered and their names have already been forwarded," Batra added.

A top official of the IOA said that it has discussed the ministry's proposal in detail before deciding not to accept it as all suggestions of the ministry are already covered in the existing criteria.

"We have looked into the ministry's proposal whether there can be athletes or teams who otherwise could not be selected on the basis of IOA's criteria but have a chance to finish in top four. We have looked into all the sports and we felt that out criteria have covered all the sports," the top official told PTI.

"Moreover, our criteria of top 6 in individual events and top 8 for team events are more lenient than the top four as suggested by the ministry and there is no need to change these. So, we decided not to consider the proposal of the ministry." It is learnt that 541 athletes have been named on the basis of the IOA's criteria, which is 17 more than 524 announced earlier this month.

The most notable inclusion is the 24-member bridge team (15 men and nine women) while sports climbing, which was not included in the initial 524, will have three members in the Indian contingent. "But the judgement is left to the IOA and the NSFs," government sources have said.

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