There is complete confusion ahead of the ninth World Para Taekwondo Championship scheduled to be held in Turkey on December 11 and 12 as two separate trials are being conducted to select the Indian team.
Para Taekwondo Association (India) conducted trials on November 11 and 12 in Chandigarh to select the Indian team. India Taekwondo, meanwhile, has announced trials on November 19 in Pune to select the national team for the World Para Taekwondo competition.
November 24 is the deadline to send entries for the World Para Taekwondo Championship.
“It is a difficult situation for para athletes as two separate units are conducting national selection trials,” a para-athlete commented on the confusion.
According to Namdev Shirgaonkar, president of India Taekwondo, a circular has been issued on November 13 to all the affiliated units regarding selection trials for the world para competition.
“We are conducting national selection trials on November 19 in Pune to select the national team for the World Para Championships being held next month in Turkey,” said Namdev.
Namdev emphasized that India Taekwondo is the national governing body of taekwondo in India and is therefore responsible for sending teams to international competitions.
“If any other organization in India is conducting national selection trials for the world para competition, it is misguiding the athletes,” he stressed.
India’s 21-year-old Tokyo Paralympian Aruna Tanwar was among several para athletes who took part in last week’s selection trials in Chandigarh.
Aruna recently confirmed her selection through the social media platform. Officially the Para Taekwondo Association (India) is yet to announce the national squad.
Namdev said that all those who don’t take part in the selection trials in Pune on November 19 will not be eligible to represent India for the World Para Taekwondo Championship.
“We have a letter from the world governing body regarding the selection trials for the World Para Taekwondo Championship,” he explained. “We have also sent a circular to all the state units. If the players don’t come, they are being misguided.”
Officials from the Para Taekwondo Association (India) didn’t respond to calls, while Aruna wasn’t available for her comments.
Aruna won a bronze medal at the 2019 edition of the World Para Taekwondo Championships.
The taekwondo discipline made its debut during the rescheduled Summer Tokyo Paralympic Games in Japan.
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Aruna was the only Indian athlete to get a wildcard entry for the Tokyo Paralympic Games. She lost in the quarterfinals of the K43 under 49 kg category, injuring her right leg during the bout.