Asian Games Doha 2006

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Indian Fencers in Doubt

Elite fencer Rupaya Langojam’s disappearance and the subsequent asylum request in the United Kingdom has had an immediate fallout, with the sports ministry putting the Indian camp for the Doha 2006 Asian Games on hold. We mut remember that Rupaya disappeared during the Senior Commonwealth Fencing Championships last month at Belfast.

Indeed, it is learnt that the sports ministry has also questioned the officials of the Fencing Association of India (FAI) about Rupaya’s deserting the team. FAI secretary Arun Vij had requested the government (read SAI) to let them conduct the camp at Patiala, but no clearance has been forthcoming.

Vij expressed that he was yet to reply to the sports ministry on the issue. “Since I was away at Doha as an Indian Olympic Association (IOA) delegate, I couldn’t respond to the message. But will do it shortly,” he told a local media.

It's important to mention that the FAI has forwarded the list of players for Doha to the IOA, but it is not certain if the clearance will be available from the ministry. Vij, though, said that all fencers must not suffer because of the folly of one.

In fact, FAI president Arvind Khanna, it is learnt, has set up one-man committee to look into the disappearance episode. So far, elite fencers, in their build up for the Doha Games, have had at least three exposure trips including the Belfast Commonwealth Fencing Tournament.

According to unofficial sources, the World Cup in Italy and Asian Championships in Qatar were the other two competitions the fencers participated in. there was also a Bangkok trip. In none of the tournaments has the team’s showing been encouraging.