Bhubaneswar: Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday assured BJD Rajya Sabha MP Bhupinder Singh that he would discuss with Athletics Federation of India (AFI) the fiasco at the Indian Grand Prix, which denied star Odisha sprinters Srabani Nanda and Amiya Mallick berths to Rio Olympics, even if the latter won gold medals at their respective Olympics qualifying events.
“Jaitley has said he will write a letter to the AFI about the issue,” Singh told OTV.
The Kalahandi MP has also written a letter to Parliamentary Affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi requesting him to intervene in the matter.
Meanwhile, Odisha Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sudam Marandi said he has apprised Union Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal of the matter and requested him to take it seriously.
Nanda and Mallick, who won gold medals at Indian Grand Prix on Sunday might not qualify for the Rio Olympics as their timings were recorded manually after a power failure left the entire Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, literally, powerless. Notably manual timings are not considered for records by International Association of Athletics (IAAF).
Nanda not only created a new national record with a timing of 11.23 seconds but also met the qualifying mark for Rio, while Mallick got the Rio qualification mark with a national record of 10.09 seconds in the men’s 100 m.