NEW DELHI, India: The President of Amateur Athletic Federation of India, Mr. Jaideep Singh Baria, has called for “radical changes” in the mode of selection policy to choose athletics for international meets.

“The selection standard can only be a guideline, it should not be mechanical. If one has to go by only the selection standards set by the government, then what is the use of having a selection committee”, Mr. Baria asked while talking to newsmen here.

He said the government’s strict adherence to the standards has not been helpful. The government refused permission to Nallaswamy Annavi, M.D. Valsamma and Buddhwa Oraon, to go to Singapore because they failed, by a narrow margin, to clear the selection criteria.

According to Mr. Baria, if these athletes had gone to Singapore, India would have got more medals. “But our officials in the Sports Ministry were not prepared to listen”.

He added AAFI will set up a special committee of experts to recommend new selection procedures,

During the Singapore meet, Mr. Baria had held discussions with officials from other countries about having a “Asian circuit”.

Mr. Baria said there was not enough athletic competition in Asia like in Europe.

“Most of the athletes have to go to Europe which is very expensive. Not everybody can afford to go there every year,” he said.

“We suggest forming an Asian circuit on the lines of the European circuit so that Asian athletes are not denied international exposure.”

Mr. Baria said the performance of the Indian athlete at Singapore was “as expected”.

The AAFI chief said the next Asian Track and Field meet will be held here in September 1989 before the World Cup. “We are trying to arrange another meet here next year so that our athletes keep getting international exposure”.

NEW DELHI, India: Uncertainty looms over the holding of the hockey events during the National Games to be held in Kerala in December.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Mr. V.C. Shukla told newsmen here that Kerala has not shown any inclination to lay down the Astroturf which has been made compulsory for staging the hockey events.

“The hosts (Kerala) are not prepared to spend Rs. 50 lakh on AstroTurf, as hockey is not a popular game there”.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 21, 1987