Why has SAI dropped me?
Why my one failure is held against me?
Why an Olympic Medallist is treated this way?
Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik is asking all of these questions to Sports Authority of India’s mandarins. India’s only Olympic medallist in women’s wrestling, Sakshi is feeling “low and utterly disappointed” at being “dropped” from Sports Authority of India’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
“I have won a medal for the country in the last Olympics. At 27 I am not so old… I am striving to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics which is just 9 months away. And you drop me from the TOP Scheme. I am really disappointed and feel dejected. You cannot judge me by my one failure in World Championship held in Nur-Sultan last month,” the Haryana and India wrestler has told the Republic World website.
SAI last Friday had amended the list of its TOPS beneficiaries. Sakshi’s name was dropped from the benefit scheme, while new faces like Ravi Dhaiya were named in the Government scheme that helps towards funding for the top athletes training. Young wrestler Dahiya, who recently won a World championships bronze medal, was included in the TOPS while Sakshi was dropped from the program as she lost out in the opening bout at the world championships in Nur-Sultan.
Husband Satyawart Kadiyan, WFI President stand for Sakshi
“Yeh sahi nahi kiya. SAI ke logo ko samanjhna chahiye tha. Yeh Olympic medallist hai. Commonwealth & Asian Games nahi… (It’s not fair. SAI hasn’t done the right thing with her. She is an Olympic medallist, not a CWG or Asian Games medallist),” he observed.
Satyawart said a little more respect and faith was expected from the authorities. “Sakshi pe bharosa hona chahiye thha. Badi wrestler hai. Phir se medal dilayegi. (They should have shown some faith in Sakshi. She will again bring medal),” he added.
Meanwhile, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who also had a tough talk with Sakshi after the squad returned from the world championship, this time stands by the Olympic bronze medallist and felt bad at the new development.
“I feel for Sakshi. She was out of form, she is one of our best wrestlers and still has a chance to qualify for the Olympics and prove everyone wrong.” WFI President further added that we will support and back Sakshi to the hilt and expect her to come up with a much-improved show in the coming tournaments.
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