Indians to compete under OCA banner

Indian athletes are set to take part in the fourth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to be held from June 29 to July 6 in Incheon, South Korea, under the Olympic Council of Asia banner in the aftermath of IOA’s ban by the IOC.

Thirtyfive Indian athletes and 11 officials from four sports have been cleared by the government though most of them are participating in the multi-sport event at their own cost.
“As the IOA has been suspended by International Olympic Committee (since December last), the Indian athletes will take part in the event under the banner of OCA. The OCA have got the entries of the Indian athletes, some will be taking part at government cost and some at their own cost,” OCA secretary-general, Randhir Singh, who is also recognised by the IOC as the secretary-general of the suspended IOA, told PTI.

There was though confusion in the whole process regarding who should send the entries of the athletes for the event. Technically, VK Malhotra is still the IOA acting chief though most of the day-to-day activities at the headquarters here are being done by officials under the direction of the Abhay Singh Chautala-led dispensation, which has not been recognised by the IOC. Malhotra said as acting chief of the IOA, he has sent the entries to the OCA though he has told the respective federations to approach the Sports Ministry individually.

The 12-discipline Games have some obscure sports like e-sport, dance sport, kurash, and baduk. The other events are billiards, bowling, chess, futsal, kabaddi and short course swimming (25M).

Thirteen billiards players will take part in the Games, while 14 are kabaddi players, four in chess and four in bowling.

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