NEW DELHI: Trust the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to continue with its unprofessional ways. Just 12 days are left for the commencement of the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, and the IOA is still chopping and changing the athletes’ contingent.
The IOA has now added 34 new names to take the Asiad-bound contingent size to 575 athletes. The new names added are from the dragon boat and taekwondo disciplines. The IOA submitted the fresh list of athletes to the sports ministry on Monday. The earlier list forwarded contained 541 athletes.
On Monday, the ministry also received the list of support staff and extra officials. The ministry was already miffed with the IOA for delay in finalizing the list.
The increase in number of athletes at the eleventh hour, that too when the members of the contingent will start leaving later this week, could cause a great deal of trouble to the ministry. The ministry has been left with very little time to clear the names, which means the flight tickets for athletes, support staff and accompanying officials would be booked at a very high price. Moreover, there would be those small, last-minute logistical issues as well.
It’s expected that the ministry would clear the contingent this week. However, it would be interesting to see how the Asiad organisers accommodate these new names when the draws have already been made.
Meanwhile, in the list of support staff and extra officials, the IOA has sent the names of personal physios of badminton stars PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal to the ministry. While Sindhu has requested for physio Gayatri Shetty, Saina has asked for the services of Christopher Pedra. The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has sent their names to the ministry as part of the contingent.
However, the names of Neeraj Chopra’s trainer Ishant Marwah and sprinter Dutee Chand’s personal coach N Ramesh have been forwarded to the ministry under the ‘P’ category, which deals with extra support staff.