Sailor Varsha focussed on winning a medal at Asian Games

Varsha Gautam had moved the court for clearance to participate in the Asian Games starting on August 18.

Varsha Gautam of the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association.   -  K. Ramesh Babu

A day after sailor Varsha Gautam was granted relief from the Delhi High Court over her participation in the upcoming Asian Games, the Tamil Nadu sailor wants to put the episode behind her and gun for glory at the prestigious Games. Varsha is scheduled to participate in the 49er fx category sailing event. 

Earlier, Varsha had moved the court as the Yachting Association of India (YAI) didn't follow the selection criteria as described earlier. Varsha and her partner Shweta Shervegar won a silver in the Asian Championship in Jakarta, which was supposed to be the selection policy but the team of Ekta Yadav and Shaila Charles, who won bronze, were selected for the Asian Games.

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The IOA had agreed to the court order and had selected Varsha and Shweta for the Games, but Ekta moved the courts and the IOA to revert the selection. "A selection was conducted in Chennai and the top two teams made it to the Asian Sailing Championship. Our performances in the Asian Sailing Championship had to be taken into consideration but sadly the YAI had given the names to the IOA for the Games even before the Asian Sailing Championship was over. That was when I decided to take the issue up in the courts," Varsha said.

The YAI then agreed to conduct a selection trial in Jakarta but was unable to do so as the venue was locked for the Games. It would have given the athletes an unfair advantage, too, as per the organisers. 

While the teams are scheduled to leave on August 13 for the Asian Games, Varsha is looking at the possibility of leaving earlier. "I have written to the authorities and would love to go early to get used to the conditions. It would help us in getting acclimatised better before the event," she added. 

Varsha added that while the names have been submitted a little late, she hopes to have no issues in getting her accreditation sorted. "The names are just replacements and no new team is added. We hope to get the issue sorted and go all the way and get a medal back home," she hoped.

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