Khushbir forced to pull out midway by coach: Sources
In an unsavoury incident, Asian Games silver medallist Khushbir Kaur was on Sunday forced to pull out of the women’s 20km race walk event of National Open Athletics Championships midway into the competition by her coach Alexander Artsybashev as he felt her ward could get injured at the season-ending meet.
Amritsar girl Khushbir, who was representing ONGC, wanted to take part in the early morning event against the wishes of Russian coach Artsybashev who, according to Athletics Federation of India sources, did not want her to take part on the ground that she could get injured. She took part and was leading the race by a big distance before pulling out after covering around nine kilometers.
Another race walk coach, however, said that Khushbir pulled out midway as she was feeling pain on her legs.
Artsybashev was even seen shouting at Khushbir Kaur before the start of the event following an argument with national chief coach Bahadur Singh. ‘You cannot treat an athlete like that,’ Bahadur was heard telling the Russian. Another official said that since the National Open was an event competed by departments of the governments, the athletes also have a duty to take part. ‘These departments are spending money for the athletes and so they also want them to represent in these national events. The athletes also would want to do something for their employers,’ the official