Millennium Post

IAAF rejects AFI's request to include Chitra for World C'ships

The IAAF on Sunday rejected the Athletics Federation of India's request to include P U Chitra in the Indian squad for the upcoming World Championships, ending drama around her participation in the prestigious event. The AFI had on Saturday requested the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to consider Chitra's case after Sports Minister Vijay Goel asked the national federation to honour the Kerala High Court directive. "We did what we could. We did what is within our powers.

But the IAAF has rejected our request. We cannot do anything. That (rejection) was their discretion and they must have done it taking into account relevant rules," an AFI official, who cannot be quoted, said. The Kerala High Court had, on Friday, directed the central government to ensure participation of Chitra in the World Athletics Championships in London next month. Chitra, who recently won a gold medal in the women's 1500m event in the Asian Athletics Championships filed the writ petition after she was excluded from the Indian squad by the federation. In her plea, Chitra said her gold medal performance made her an automatic pick for the World Championships.
The court also observed that the selection process for the championship appears to be not transparent and qualified athletes were ignored. The Asian Championships winners get an automatic berth for the World Championships but the global governing body IAAF's rules were clear that the national federation is within its powers not to send a continental event winner.

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