Gymnast Rakesh Patra hits out at IOA, SAI over exclusion from Asian Games contingent
Indian gymnast Rakesh Patra, who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal at the FIG World Challenge Cup in Hungary by a mere 0.167 points, raised concerns over his exclusion from the Asian Games squad.
Gymnast Rakesh Patra has taken a stand against the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) after being left out of India's gymnastics squad for the Asian Games, despite his qualification for the continental showpiece. Patra on Saturday narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the men's still rings final at the FIG World Challenge Cup in Hungary by a mere 0.167 points.
The omission of Rakesh Patra from the Asian Games squad was met with surprise and criticism, given his qualifying credentials and recent performance. Not one to remain silent, Patra took to X, formerly Twitter, to share a copy of a letter he had sent to the Director-General of SAI, the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI), and the Prime Minister, raising concern over his exclusion from the Indian contingent.
"Our name has been omitted from the team list of the Indian Gymnastics Contingent without a valid reason. This is an injustice towards Gymnastics in India, and we've worked hard, proving our potential," the letter read as Patra said 'Indian elite Gymnasts betrayed and deprived to represent India in the Asian Games'.
He appealed, emphasising the importance of the nation and the future of Indian gymnastics, urging the authorities to grant them the opportunity to compete in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, scheduled from September 23 to October 8, as selected by GFI.
Patra also shared a letter from the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) that questioned the removal of gymnast Dipa Karmakar from the Asian Games team. The GFI's letter revealed that Karmakar and several other gymnasts had previously met the necessary requirements to compete in the Asian Games, as per the rules set by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS). However, the federation had not received any official communication explaining Dipa's removal from the team.