Can’t fly to Delhi, so athlete to miss world championship

July 5th, 2008 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Kannur (Kerala), July 5 (IANS) Chinchu Jose will miss the World Junior Athletics Championships in Poland, because her family failed to raise enough money to fly her to New Delhi, from where the Indian team leaves for the tournament. The World Junior Championship begins at Bydgoszcz in Poland Tuesday.

The 17-year-old Chinchu attended the Asian Junior Athletic Championship at Jakarta last month and had won bronze in 4×400 metre relay. “She was to take part in the same event in Poland,” Chinchu’s coach Tomi Cherian told IANS.

Chinchu is a student of Kannur Sports Division, a sports training school, which produced athletes like P.T. Usha and M.D. Valsamma.

“Chinchu along with other team members were to leave for Poland from New Delhi, Saturday. She had been asked to report in Delhi by 4.30 p.m, Friday,” said her father C.J. Jose, a small farmer at Balal in Kasargod district.

Chinchu and Jose were planning to leave for New Delhi by train, Wednesday.

“I had even arranged the money for the travel by selling some gold ornaments. But when we contacted her team’s coach in Delhi a day before leaving by train, he said that her passport would have to be submitted at least three days prior to their travel to Poland for visa requirements,” said Jose.

Jose said, he tried to courier the passport to Delhi, but it proved futile as the courier companies said that they will not accept passport as a consignment. Then the only way left for Chinchu was to travel by air to reach Delhi on time. But Jose found it impossible to raise money for the flight ticket.

“I told them that availing a loan to meet travel expenses was inadvisable. They are very poor and would not be able to repay it,” said Cherian.

Jose said that the officials were of the view that after the Jakarta championship Chinchu should have come directly to Delhi instead of going to Kerala.

“But if she had not returned, she would have missed her class XI examination. The officials are of the view Chinchu should have opted out of the examination. How can this be? What would happen to her future if she disregarded the studies?” Jose asks.

Chinchu who was eagerly looking forward to the world championship is crestfallen. “We did not find any means to raise the money for the flight ticket,” she says.

Jose is also worried as Indian team officials told him that Chinchu could face a ban as she had failed to turn up to be part of the team for the championship.

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