Kochi: The Kerala High Court has come to the rescue of Asian Athletics gold medalist P. U. Chitra, who was denied ticket to next month’s IAAF World Championships in London by the Athletics Federation of India. Responding to the 1,500m runner’s petition against the AFI, the court has asked the national body to “ensure the participation of P. U. Chitra” for the Worlds meet that begins August 4.
Apart from the AFI, the court has issued directives to the ministry of youth affairs and sports and AFI selection committee chairman G.S. Randhawa. “Opportunities of the instant nature would come in the way of an athlete only once in a life time and if they miss the chance, they may not get it again,” the single-bench observed, further adding that Chitra “is an outstanding athlete”. Chitra had won a gold at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar earlier this month, clocking a personal best of 4:17.92. The AFI, on its part, had argued that it was not a performance that met the entry standard of 4 minutes and 7 seconds. “But it is seen that many athletes who are nowhere close the standards fixed have been included in the Indian team,” the court observed.