Many athletes dropped from India's Asian Games squad

Thursday 31st August 2023 03:33 EDT

The Indian men's weightlifting team, which included Birmingham CWG gold medalist Achinta Sheuli and N Ajith, the women's fencing team, which included C A Bhavani Devi, and a number of sports, including modern pentathlon, triathlon, and taekwondo, were removed from the Indian delegation for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou. They all failed to fullfil the sports ministry’s selection criteria which state that athletes’ performance in individual events during the last 12 months “should not fall below the performance achieved by the eighth position holder in the 2018 Asian Games”.

Similarly, several other athletes have missed out on Asiad participation, notably in tennis, basketball and handball events. In weightlifting, only the women’s team of Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (49kg) and Bindiyarani Devi (55kg) has been cleared for the Games. Rejecting the men’s team’s participation, the ministry noted: “Sheuli (73kg) lifted 305kg in Asian Championships held in May 2023 and N Ajith (73kg) lifted 307kg. Also, in selection trials held on June 30 2023, Sheuli lifted a lesser weight (305kg) than Ajith (310kg) in the same weight category. Hence, Sheuli may not be recommended considering recent performances.”

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