Amidst the unfolding situation, the Sports Ministry’s selection criteria has come under scrutiny. The guideline stipulates that an athlete’s performance in individual competitions over the preceding 12 months “must not fall below the level achieved by the eighth-place finisher in the 2018 Asian Games.”
However, the application of this criterion to the sport of Tennis remains unclear, casting doubt on the rationale behind the decision. Many find this move unreasonable, considering the dedication and lifelong effort athletes invest to earn the opportunity to represent their country on such a grand stage. Furthermore, it eliminates the potential for an underdog or lower-ranked contender to embark on an improbable, inspirational journey – a quintessential charm of sports.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) had initially put forth six candidates each for the Men’s and Women’s squads to the Sports Ministry. Regrettably, the names of Mukund Sasikumar, Vaidehi Chaudhari, and Sahaja Yamalapalli have been unexpectedly withdrawn from the list. This unfortunate turn of events has deprived the trio of a momentous chance to make their Asian Games debuts.
Reaction from India No.2 Mukund Sasikumar on the snub –
Adding to the complexity, information suggests that participants in previous editions had the option to compete at their own expense, rather than relying on government funding. However, the current ministry has refused to allow that either.
The decision’s implications are far-reaching, raising concerns not only about the selection process but also about the essence of fair competition and the pursuit of sporting dreams.
India’s revised squads for the Asian Games are listed below: