National record holder Khushbir Kaur axed from Asian championship team for not participating in national event
New Delhi: Top woman race walker Khushbir Kaur was axed from the Indian team for the upcoming Asian Race Walking Championships after Athletics Federation of India (AFI) cracked the whip on her for opting out of the 20km event of the national championships without informing the AFI.
National record holder Khushbir’s name was there in the starting list but she chose not to take part in the women’s 20km event, which enraged the AFI bosses who had directed all the athletes to take part in the championships.
A furious AFI selection committee chairman Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, who watched the proceedings, said that those who did not take part, will not be selected for the championships. He also recommended the AFI to throw out Khushbir from national camps.
"Any athlete who did not participate will not be selected for Asian Race Walking Championships. We have told all the athletes to take part in the championships if they want to be selected for the Asian event. We will be very tough on that," Randhawa, who had finished fifth in 110m hurdles finals in 1964 Tokyo Olympics, told PTI. "I have recommended to the AFI that the athlete be thrown out of the national camps. She cannot behave like this. We will see what reason her coach gives (for non-participation)," he added.
The finger of suspicion was directed towards foreign coach Alexander Artsybashev, who had earlier stopped Khushbir from taking part in national level events.
During the National Open Championships here in November 2014, Khushbir pulled out midway after the Russian-born coach stopped her from competing further, citing the danger of her picking up an injury before an international event. Alexander has been playing truant with the AFI officials for some time now and a top official revealed that he will be shown the door and another foreign coach, an Australian, will take over in the next couple of months.
"Alexander will not continue after Asian Championships (on March 20) in Japan. A new coach from Australia is coming. The paperwork for the appointment is being done currently with SAI. By April, the new coach should join," a top AFI official said on the condition of anonymity.