BHUBANESWAR: Uncertainty has gripped Odisha’s ace sprinters Amiya Mallick and Srabani Nanda about finding a berth at Rio Olympics despite winning gold medals in their respective events at Indian Grand Prix at New Delhi held on Sunday.
The two ace sprinters suffered due to the inability of the Delhi Sports Authority and Sports Authority of India to provide power at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
Amiya won gold in the men’s 100 metres sprint with 10.09 seconds timing against Olympics’ qualifying timing of 10.16 seconds. Similarly, Srabani secured the first position in the women’s 100 metres sprints in 11.23 seconds against Olympics timings of 11.32 seconds.
Despite their sterling performances, the two were not sure about finding a berth at Rio.
As the electronic time metre was not functioning due to a power failure at the stadium, the track athletes were suffered as their scores at the first Indian Grand Prix couldn’t be registered.
“The organisers were using hand-timers instead of electronic devices because the power went off at a crucial time. The Olympics qualifying panel is not considering the hand-timer,” said Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) administrative officer Prabodh Kumar Mohanty.
“The organisers were not very keen, and consequently, the two promising athletes had to suffer,” Prabodh rued.
Amiya and Srabani, however, will have two more chances to qualify for the Olympics.
They have to perform well in the upcoming Federation Cup in New Delhi, April 28-30 and Second Indian Grand Prix at Patiala starting May 3.