SAI to conduct selection trial for Artistic Gymnastic World C’ship

Indian gymnasts were left in the lurch after reports emerged that the sports ministry refused to clear the team for the World Championship in Bulgaria.

Top Indian gymnasts, including Dipa Karmakar (above) and Rakesh Patra, will feature in the selection trials. (File Photo)   -  AFP

Top Indian gymnasts, including Dipa Karmakar and Rakesh Patra, will feature in the selection trials, here, on September 29 and 30 for next month’s Artistic Gymnastics World Championship in Doha.

“A selection trial has been scheduled on September 29 and 30 to select the team for the World Championship,” India’s longtime gymnastics coach G.S. Bawa said.

Indian gymnasts were left in the lurch after reports emerged that the sports ministry refused to clear the team for the World Championship in Bulgaria since the Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI) is de-recognised and stands suspended as per the National Sports Code.

“A maximum of six members — three boys and three girls — will be selected for the World Championship,” Bawa said.

READ: USOC announces chairman Probst to step down at end of year

The selection trials will decide who makes the cut for the prestigious tournament. Interestingly, the last date of sending entries ‘by names’ to the tournament organisers is September 25.

The 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, which will be held in Doha from October 25 to November 3, is an important fixture for Indian gymnasts as it will provide them exposure ahead of the qualifying event (World Championship in Stuttgart) for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

India had missed out of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Patra, who had finished fourth in the ring event at the FIG World Challenge Cup in Turkey in August, had said that if India can’t participate, it will be a huge blow to its preparation for the Olympics.