Foul move by AFI: High jumper’s dream crash lands

Despite making the cut, high jumper Siddharth Yadav won’t be representing Indian in Commonwealth Games.

Published: 06th April 2018 04:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2018 04:26 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The room number 111 on the first floor of the elite wing of SAI-LNCPE at Kariavattom has remained closed for over a week. Its inhabitant, sources in the institution said, has silently left the campus. Till the time he was there, the room was abuzz with activities. Fellow athletes regularly swarmed in to congratulate him for making the cut for the Commonwealth Games. The tall high jumper, Siddharth Yadav, had cleared 2.25m during the Federation Cup in March that made him eligible for representing the country in the quadrennial event.

Siddharth Yadav

However, it was soon revealed that the 24-year-old’s chances of making it to the event was slim. The Athletics Federation of India had failed to include his name in the provisional list sent to the CWG organisers because they felt he won’t be jumping 2.25m- the cut off mark. And, when they rectified the mistake and included his name, the deadline was over.

Sources at SAI-LCPE, who preferred to remain incognito, told Express that Yadav has been crestfallen since it was known that he won’t be flying to Gold Coast. “He was a happy-go-lucky person. But after the news of his omission came, he was so heartbroken. One of the senior SAI officials here advised him to take a short break to tide over the shock,” said an official.

City Express, however, managed to locate him at Pataudi, his hometown in Gurgaon. Yadav said he chose to skip his training at the jumps academy in Thiruvananthapuram to tide over the grief of missing out on his maiden international assignment.“I was feeling sad and dejected. Some of my friends and well-wishers advised me to take a break and visit my family,” Yadav said.

“My family members were meeting prominent personalities and Sports Ministry officials to solve the issue. But none of them could help. They were a tensed lot, but since I am among them now, they couldn’t show their tension. They fear that if I come to know about their mental status, I would be down further. So they are trying to behave normal, telling me to focus on the future ahead,” Yadav added.

Yadav said he had dreamt a lot of competing at Gold Coast, but with the doors now closed, he would rather focus on the Asian Games. “Whatever happened has happened. I can’t do anything about it. Now, I would be focussing on the Asian Games in August.”

Yadav had endured a fracture in his backbone while competing in 2011, and it was in 2016 that he had resumed jumping. Within two years, he competed in three domestic events, where he managed to register a steady progress in performance.

“I did 2.19m in the first event, then 2.23m in the second and in the third one, I jumped 2.25m. You can see that my graph was going up. I am not that young to afford to miss out on events as I don’t have many competitions. So, when I am being denied to partake in a competition which would have been my first international assignment, I can’t control my anger and pain. The pangs are too deep to be ignored and brushed aside,” he told City Express over phone.

However, Yadav said he would land in Thiruvananthapuram shortly to resume training. Yadav said he was overwhelmed by the support he got from Thiruvananthapuram residents during the grim period, but added that he would leave for South Africa for advanced training after the Asian Games.“My coach Sanjay Rai helped me set my basics correct. But I would love to go to South Africa to fine tune my technique. But that’s only after August,” he said.

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