Members of India’s compound archery team were “left stranded” on Karnal Bypass until late Friday night on their way to Delhi airport, but the national federation has said this could have happened in his attempt to separate them from the recurve group after a coach tested positive for COVID -19.
Sonepat-based compound archers were due to join the Olympic recurve team at Delhi Airport to catch a 2:50 am flight to Amsterdam en route to Guatemala City for World Cup phase I April 19 to 25.
But after hearing that compound team coach Gaurav Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 at SAI, Sonepat on Thursday, the Indian Archery Association decided not to allow them to join the team. recurve team.
Compound archers have now been removed from the tournament, the highly anticipated first event after the pandemic ended all events in March 2020.
“We cannot compromise on the safety of our recurve archers as they should be playing at the Olympics in less than 100 days. As per the SOPs, we had to isolate them (compound archers) who were in direct contact with the coach, “he added. IAA General Secretary Pramod Chandurkar told PTI.
“The two teams had to travel together and we didn’t want to take that 1% chance. The US guidelines are very strict and if anything happened the entire contingent would have suffered, jeopardizing the Olympic preparation of recurve archers. did it. don’t want to risk it. “
A compound team official, however, recounted the heartbreaking experience as they remained stranded on the Karnal bypass for more than two hours on Friday night, awaiting the decision.
The bus had an eight-member team, including seasoned activists Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and V Jyothi Surekha and three miners Pragati, Akshita and Sanchi Dhalla.
“It all happened around 7pm as we approached the Delhi border when they asked us to stop our trip and wait for instructions,” the official said.
The official said they immediately isolated the coach (Gaurav Sharma) after his report turned positive a day before their trip to the nation’s capital.
“But the recurve archers lobbied the federation via the Zoom call and threatened not to come on board if the compound archers joined them (at the airport). Discussions continued and eventually they didn’t come on board. ‘have not allowed compound archers, “he said.
“Despite taking the two full doses of the vaccine (in Pune), they (recurve archers) were all afraid of contracting the virus. It also showed a lack of unity in the team.”
He further claimed that the federation could have handled the matter better, but there was a complete lack of communication and they organized their trip to their respective homes on their own in the middle of the night.
“So far there has been no official communication, none of the federation has spoken to the members of the enclosure. We learned this personally around 9:30 pm and had to make our own travel arrangements to return. with us.
“We had three miners on the team and we all had to manage our trip home on our own. Jyothi took a midnight flight to Hyderabad. It was a complete mess. They made it clear that the compound archers didn ‘were not a priority for the federation.
“The archers offered to go on their own, making their own reservations but the federation refused to listen,” he said.
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