Mallakhamb World Cup: Stage set, visitors arrive, hosts missing

Updated: Feb 12, 2019, 12:02 IST | Subodh Mayure

With just four days to go for the tournament at Shivaji Park, Indian team has not yet been announced, due to internal bickering

Mallakhamb World Cup: Stage set, visitors arrive, hosts missing
Italy's Deliya Chiruti

The first-ever World Mallakhamb Championship to be held in the city is just four days away, but host India's team for the competition is yet to be announced. The Vishwa Mallakhamb Federation (VMF)-organised championship will be held on February 16 and 17, when around 100 players from 14 countries will showcase their Mallakhamb skills.

England's Alfi Misson
England's Alfi Misson

The Indian team for the Vishwa Mallakhamb Federation (VFM)-organised World Mallakhamb Championship at Dadar's Shivaji Park is yet to be announced as national chief selector Dilip Gavane is awaiting the Mallakhamb Federation of India's (MFI) green signal.

Malaysia's Menaka Sumudram perform various asanas. Pics By arrangement
Malaysia's Menaka Sumudram perform various asanas. Pics By arrangement

"The trials are over. The selection committee has submitted the performances and we will select the team. We will discuss our issues in our executive committee. Then, the body [MFI] will provide a green signal. Only then can we announce the team," Gavane, who is also the Treasurer of the MFI, told mid-day from Hyderabad yesterday. When asked about a preparatory camp for the Indian team, Gavane said they don't need any practice. "We don't have any time to conduct the camp. All those players [who will be selected] have played very well. Everybody there is a gold, silver or bronze medallist [in earlier competitions]. They don't require any practice," Gavane stressed.

USA's Aerial Vhitney
USA's Aerial Vhitney

While visa issues have ruled out Bangladesh's participation, nine participating teams - France, Spain, Italy, USA, Iran, UK, Germany, Norway and Malaysia - have already arrived and resumed their preparations for the championship.

VMF Secretary General Uday Deshpande, who is overseeing arrangements for the World Championship, apart from guiding overseas players during practice, is disappointed about the delay in selection. "Nine countries have already reached the city and started their preparations, but we have to wait to know who will represent India. We are requesting fans to come and cheer for the Indian team, but they want to know about our players," remarked Deshpande.

What is Mallakhamb?
Mallakhamb is a traditional Indian sport dating back to the 12th century, where the practitioner performs gymnastic yoga postures with wrestling grips on an erect pole or a suspended rope.

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