SPORT

Will SAI/IOA keep their promise to Anjali?

HYDERABAD Oct. 28 The electronic target promised to India's crack shot Anjali Bhagwat continues to elude her, nearly two months after an announcement at the Samsung Awards function in Delhi where top officials both from the Indian Olympic Association and the Sports Authority of India were present.

Going by that public promise, Anjali faxed her formal application to loan an electronic target till the Olympics next year with an undertaking she would return the same after the Athens Games.

On her triumphant return from the Milan World Cup, she was informed that the target would not be given to her since she had the means to buy the same with the Samsung scholarship (often mistaken for sponsorship) amount.

Anjali, Beenamol, Malleswari, Anju George and Abhinav Bindra were honoured with the Samsung award as each of the quintets was considered an Olympic medal prospect.

Even assuming that the amount has reached Anjali, it isn't enough to meet the costs involved in a sport, where a jacket costs in excess of Rs. 30,000, weapons are worth upwards of Rs. 80,000, ammunition is imported and travel also makes a big hole in the pocket.

Ironically, 10 such electronic targets are lying unused at the Tughlakabad range.

Also rotting there is a running target that has no competitors in the country and the event itself is to be withdrawn from the Olympics after Athens.

An interesting aside from the ongoing Afro-Asian Games is that foreign sportspersons have been flown in on chartered flights.

With time running out for next year's Olympics, when do SAI/IOA propose to give her the electronic target? After the Athens Games?

Our Special Correspondent

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