Millennium Post

Geetika to fly to Finland for wrestling Olympic qualifiers

After clearing all the obstacles, administrative and otherwise, female wrestler Geetika Jakhar is all set to fly to Finland for the final London Olympic Qualifiers, which starts in Helsinki on Friday.

After emerging victorious in the trials against Alka Tomar, Geetika also won the battle in the court against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to obtain her right to compete in the Olympic qualifiers.

She was then struggling to get her visa, but now with the help of the Sports Ministry, she has cleared this hurdle too and is going to Helsinki, Finland tomorrow to try and make the cut for the London event.

'I am happy that finally, I am going. God's with me. This is my last chance to become an Olympian and I will give it my best shot. I thank the Sports Ministry and all who helped me and supported me in this crisis time,' Geetika told  after she was informed that her ticket and visa are ready.

'Twice I have missed the bus. In 2004 and 2008 I lost in the semifinals but this time I am confident of doing well, specially after all this (struggle),'  ecstatic Geetika said.

A total of 14 Indian wrestlers will compete in the World Olympic Qualifiers, which is the last tournament to book a ticket to London. The two finalists in the event will qualify.

It has been a tough struggle for Geetika despite winning the trials, organised by WFI on April 19.

The WFI wanted Geetika to re-appear in the trials and compete in another bout against Alka, whom she had beaten to qualify for the Helsinki event, in the 63kg weight category.

However, Geetika refused to do so and approached the Sports Ministry, which in response sought clarification from the WFI.

She then knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court, which ultimately ruled in her favour and asked WFI to get visa for her.

However, her visa application could only be moved on Monday and procedural delays threatened to dash her hopes.

Again, Geetika, a silver medallist at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, did not give up and fought to the hilt to get her visa cleared through the ministry.

The bouts in her weight category are scheduled for May 6
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