Activist Rahul Mehra Helps Indian Sailers Fight For Right To Participate in Asian Games

The Asian Games in underway and many an Indian hopeful would be limbering up to make his/her mark on the stage.  For two young Indian sailers who were set to participate for India, it has become an uphill struggle just to take part.

Two young Indian athletes of the Royal Bombay Yacht Club were due to represent India in the 420 class sailing event at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon. The Centre had cancelled India’s participation in this event without any prior notice. This is a violation of the sports code and is arbitrary. The two athletes approached the Delhi High Court as a result.


Diya Anna Correa(Left) is a 15 year-old rower who represents the Royal Bombay Yacht Club


Upamanyu Dutta (Left) is also from the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and is a winner of several national and international competitions

Correa and Dutta have requested the ministry of youth affairs and Sports to include their category as they are willing to go to the games at their own cost. Their plea was mentioned on Monday before Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul. The judges ordered the matter to be listed before Justice Vibhu Bakhru.

The athletes have already sent their equipment and boats to South Korea and have borne the expenses themselves. The decision to drop the category was taken at the last minute and no warning or reason was given to them. They have filed a petition through advocate and sports advocate Rahul Mehra and following points have been stated:

  • The athletes have received accreditation from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as well as the Olympic Committee Of Asia (OCA) to participate in the games.
  • The 2014 Asian Games will be their last chance to participate in the under-19 age group of the 420 class sailing event.
  • They have fulfilled all the requirements like selection trials, international exposure and focused coaching.
  • Dropping their category after spending government funds in their training is also equivalent to waste of public money.

This is disappointing news. Athletes who have the spark in them and have succeeded to represent the country at such a young age are being deprived of opportunities. Matters like these need to be looked into more seriously and we’re glad that activists like Rahul Mehra are there to help these unsung sportspersons.

Here’s wishing Correa and Dutta good luck for their stint in Incheon, here’s to these young Indian Rowers!

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