Boat racing team to be added to Asiad contingent after Delhi HC order

Abhay Singh, one of the athletes in the boat racing squad, had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against IOA's decision to not send a boat racing team to the Games.

A traditional boat racing team comprises of 12 athletes including 10 paddlers, 1 drummer and a steerer.   -  PTI

After being denied entry by the IOA, a favourable Delhi High Court order has now paved the way for India’s traditional boat racing contingent to take part in the Asian Games in Indonesia from August 18-September 2.

Abhay Singh, one of the athletes in the boat racing squad, had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision to not send a team of the water sport to the Games. The IOA said it did not reach the eligibility criteria.

He had sought High Court’s intervention in the matter after the boat racing team won a silver and a bronze at an Asian level tournament.

Yesterday, the High Court ruled the matter in the petitioner’s favour and “directed the IOA to consider the case of the petitioner and team and take all steps to accredit the team to represent India in traditional boat racing“.

IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta confirmed sending the entries to the Games Organisers following the High Court order. “We have sent the entries. Now it remains to be seen if the organisers accept their entries,” said Mehta. July 31 is the last day for filing entries to the Games.

Prashant Kushwaha, secretary at the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association, told PTI that two teams comprising 16 men and 16 women were supposed to take part in the competition to be held in Palembang.

“But as of now we are not sure how many names the Sports Ministry would clear. A team comprises of 12 athletes including 10 paddlers, 1 drummer and a steerer,” said Kushwaha.

Boat racing’s inclusion is set to increase the size of the Asiad contingent. After announcing an initial list of 524 athletes, the IOA had revised the entries last week and the contingent now stands at 541.

Earlier this month, the IOA had to clear men’s handball team for the Games after the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court intervened.