Possibly taking a cue from the tennis players demanding business class air travel for representing the country in Davis Cup, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has recommended business class tickets for all the six Indian medallists of the London Olympics.
After being showered with gifts and cash, Sushil Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Gagan Narang, Yogeshwar Dutt, Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal will continue to stand out among the Indian sportspersons, particularly whenever they board a flight.
With the Union Sports Ministry scheduled to decide on the subject soon, it was also believed that the others like Beijing gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and Athens silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, boxing bronze medallist Vijender Singh, would also logically stand to benefit from the move.
With Atlanta Games bronze medallist Leander Paes already being extended business class air travel by the All India Tennis Association (AITA), whenever he was called for national duty, only Sydney Games bronze medallist, weightlifter Karnam Malleswari’s case may stay in suspense.
However, the basic idea of the SAI was to extend the courtesy to the athletes concerned when they travelled for training and competition.
In such a context, there was no decision as yet on the Olympic hockey medallists who have been assisting the national federation and the government as part of various panels.