CHENNAI: The Indian team has paid customs duty to the tune of Rs 6200 to get possession of the gold medals after winning the Online Chess Olympiad in August.
The medals were lying at the Bengaluru airport for a week before it was couriered to Chennai.
The Olympiad, one of the most prestigious team events in the sport, was held virtually this year because of the pandemic. India and Russia were announced as joint winners. After FIDE let Srinath Narayanan, the vice-captain of the team that secured gold, know that they have despatched the medals from Russia to Bengaluru, 'I was tracking it online', he told this daily.
"It reached Bengaluru on November 23 and it took about a week for me to get it," he said.
"DHL paid the customs and I had to reimburse DHL," he added. "Of course, FIDE have said they will reimburse the cost so that's not a problem."
This is the first time India's chess team, whose members are no strangers to winning medals on the international stage, had to pay customs to get access to their own medals. "No, never happened before," Srinath added. "But this is the first time we are getting it by post. Usually, we come back with the medals."
He will courier the medals to the other members of the team.