Athletes robbed of Rio Olympics spot

Power failure at the competition venue led to the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix athletics meet ending in a farce in New Delhi. The one-day meet, an Olympic qualifying event, was held without electricity at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium which led to results being recorded manually. Hand timings are not considered valid for record purposes and hence will not be counted for Olympic qualifications. According to the hand timings, as many as four national records were improved and that included two athletes crossing Rio Olympics qualification norms, but all of them will be of no use. All the track events were hand-timed as the photo-finish equipment was not switched on due to power failure. The organisers of the meet, Delhi Athletics Association blamed the Sports Authority of India and stadium administrator for the fiasco. “We paid Sports Authority of India Rs 1.15 lakh to book the JLN Stadium and outside practice track area for the Indian GP and for Federation Cup (to be held from April 28-30). We also paid Rs 15,000 for security purposes. But to our surprisewe found 15 minutes before the start of the meet that there is no electricity at the stadium,” a Delhi Athletics Association official told PTI.The meet was a season opener and was expected to serve as a platform for the Indian aspirants looking for a berth for the Rio Olympics.Odisha sprinters Amiya Kumar Mallick and Srabani Nanda were credited with incredible hand-timings of 10.09secs and 11.23 secs to win the men’s and women’s 100m sprint races. The Rio qualifications norms are 10.16 secs and 11.32 secs. But, these digital stop watch timings will not be considered for Rio qualification purposes and they cannot even be called national record holders.
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