Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CWG Selection Trials

I think, as sportsmen, we all go through the adversities created by our sports officials some time or the other.

Basically - our previous selection policy was-
selection trials are held for competitions in the forthcoming 2 months calender (and if someone has won a medal in the immediate past or had an exceptional performance then he is excused form trials, if he so desires with permission of Federation)

Hence after taking 2009 off I planned to start training by Jan 2010 and be in form by Jun 2010 for World Shooting Championships (WSC) 2010.

However in Mar 2010, we got stumped by the Federation when they announced a new selection policy. The new policy was to follow a system of adding up all scores shot by shooters and averaging them out. The highest aggregate gets selected.

The problems-

1. The policy was implemented in Mar 2010 but scores were retrospectively taken from previous months like Feb 2010...giving rise to prejudice and bias

2. Scores shot by Indian shooters abroad in different (mostly better) conditions were to be compared to scores shot in humid, hot and windy conditions prevailing in the summer months in India.

3. Taken by surprise, since i was not in form in early 2010, i was left with a huge score deficit to catchup in the later selection trials (in Indian conditions)

4. Interestingly the same policy was for Rifle and Pistol shooters too but was amended for them but not for Shot Gunners. So we had a situation; one federation but different selection policies. Again, revealing bias.

5. The whole atmosphere of Vindictiveness, created by the sports administrators did not leave me or some of the other shooters with a positive frame of mind to overcome the odds stacked up.

6.The policy laid down some grace marks for Olympic/WSC medalist but decided that 2004 Olympics being in distant past did not warrant grace marks (as if the experience is limited by 4 year life cycle of each Olympics)

Its now interesting to hear the officials say that the matter was never brought up to their notice, was it not, really!!!

Interestingly, I was in Italy in Jun 2010 where the World Cup Shooting (WCS) was scheduled. In a WCS if there are inadequate number of shooters then the vacancies in the shooting squad have to be filled up by a zero shooter (his scores are not officially counted towards the medal prospects for that competition). So, I got the opportunity to shoot as a zero shooter there. However, upon learning of this the Indian federation, immediately issued a verbal diktat to all shooters that no one is to take part as zero shooter, without the permission of the federation. A permission that they would not give. Normally, I would believe that a federation promoting sports and its sportsmen would want its shooters to get as much opportunity as is possible to shoot and demonstrate their caliber. Or was it that, the federation did not want any anyone other then those selected to throw up a brilliant performance. Why should actions of a sporting federation raise questions.

I have tried to maintain as positive an attitude as is possible, even today as the news is breaking out on the TV and other Media. I do believe there is a higher good for me despite these troubles. I know the strength of the Indian Shooting Team and hence am looking confidently at all those selected to win at the CWG Delhi. By all accounts, the shooters are only growing stronger.


Digvijay said...

go after em chilly....these jokes have ruined sport enough

suneeta said...

Seriously... why these jerks manage our sports?

Rishi said...

The entire sys sucks it is nothing but a money making racket for these so called sports administrators. In our country in any case seldom has excellence been rewarded in our nation of mediocrity where reservations and quotas and bhai bhatijawad prevails

Bal Mukunda said...

Chilly, u have some very serious points, but sadly, I doubt whether ur voice will b heard...top military officer like u have 2 face injustice...so sad....& not 2 speak about common shooters...
btw what a coincidence..Angha Ghaisas has attacked Central Govt in Mumbai, while you have PARDAFASH of NRAI...

Kirti Patil said...

I believe that this incident will at least wake up those in slumber. The NRAI has been brilliant and worse at the same time and that is baffling. Only one solace is that the shooting federation in India is much better run than most other sports federations. At least in shooting there are,lets say, 60-70 percent of shooters who are educated and can put their point forth. Whether that is taken note of is a different thing altogether. But imagine s federation such as athletics or wrestling or even weightlifting, the adminitrators give a damn what the athletes think.
Let me give you one example. It happens always before the Olympic Games. Indian relay team always fails to touch the qualifying timings so the AFI organises last selection trial just before the last date of sending entries by name and in that relay selection trial only those six intended athletes are there. They aren't competing against anyone but they run to beat the time. How they beat the time is more important than whether they beat it, because always the qualifying time is met in this selection trial.
Now these are handpicked athletes and basically once they get selected, at least three more officials get the green light to travel to Olympic city.
Last time when such trial was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, nobody checked whether the batons were passed correctly or rather lanes were cut or not. The athletes just ran and at the end of the day they qualified without competing against any opposition. This is one such incident. It happens not for the love of sending athletes to Olympics but because with certain number of athletes certain number of officials are cleared and if you have more freeloaders to please then you make sure more athletes qualify. This is a vicious circle.

Indian Champs said...

Utter shame... blatant disregard for sporting talent!!! Sincerely hope that something comes out of this noble protest....

Kamesh said...

You have very valid argument. What has been proved is, either you be selfish, focus on your training and do well, or try to clean the system for everyone's sake and end up with a bad name, spoiling your game. Wasting energy when you are not heard, does not help anyone. Champions don't quit once they take up a task, but the world would only remember that you quit by not attending the trials. Am sure, it is a temporary phase, and strengthen your resolve! cheers, kamesh

Anonymous said...

I personally know a few rifle/pistol shooters who are undone by this biased selection policy! In the first place, they put forward the selection policy as a commitment, as a promise to the shooters and then they change it after the trials are over and the scores are already recorded. For example, some crazy brain in the selection committee has decided to consider elimination score + final score in World championship and take an average of these two. While the selection policy clearly states Score achieved in the World championship!

Elimination is like heats for heaven sake! Only fools give their best one day before the competition. You got to keep the best scores for the final event. But the selection committee has changed this now, only to favor 1 or 2 shooters with reputation. These shooters failed to deliver in the World championship and it shows their temperament for big matches! If they did not score as per the selection policy, then they deserve to sit out and make way for the shooters who worked hard for their place.

I pity those who fear the federation and the system, why fear when in your heart you know this is injustice? I wonder what the shooters in the selection committee are really doing? wake up, stand up and Fight for what is justice!

Is there a legal way the policy can be questioned?

Ramesh said...

I dont think it is money that this is done for.. not at least in shooting.. A few grey heads think that CWG is happening in India so all the big stars have to be there to showcase to the public..

They have mistaken this to be some entertainment concert or some Bollywood festival. This is a sport! Scores count here! Country wants to see records made, Gold medals won rather than a star who has grabbed his place because of the biased selection policy.

Sadly they have proved that majority of the selection committee is incompetent. Though there are a few good ones, the majority gets the better of them. This minority needs our support. Some one really need to take this up. Both for CWG and for Asian Games. Press has a vital role to play here to shape the sport into proper direction. Is someone listening?

Rahul said...

Man you have avoided hard military life ,separation from family and enjoyed all the perks the army has to offer.Crores have been spent on you by the nation.If you have lost the edge ..retire. Dont blame the system..no system is perfect !!!.

chilly said...

Thanks all of you, for your support,comments or critique.
Mr Rahul, unfortunately for you, i have not shirked military life...I have taken part in active and lethal Military operations in Kashmir many times over...also i have never feared to loose...I have the distinction of winning the largest number of medals amongst the shotgun shooters in India but still have lost more competitions then i have won..its natural. Thanks for your advice on retirement, i will do that too sometime but again unlike many who choose the easier wrong, i will follow the harder right and stand by my responsibility to make the system better for others who follow us. regardless, thank you for the effort of reading my views.
regards to all

Anonymous said...

I'm not a sports person , i'd read these concerns raised by Abhinav Bindra some time back, and was under the impression that he was the only effected party. It's sad to know that any other sport besides cricket is given this kind of step motherly treatment by the very people who are assigned the work of encouraging sportsmen and young talent.
You have our support Rathore.

Anonymous said...

Chilly, I am absolutely with you on this. As far as retirement from Army is concerned, let it be your personal choice and not as suggested by some enlightened one . It's easier to point a finger towards someone but without knowing the facts, pls refrain from commenting.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I do not understand the reason for such a post. You have atleast 5 times suggested prejudice and bias - by why have you not represented to authorities. I am pretty sure that when federation can give lee way to rifle shooters - they could not have afforded to ignore request from you. When sports person from extremely poor background complaint, it may be understandable that they may not know the rules, etc. But how can an educated person holding a high rank in GoI can do this ?

Rajyavardhan said...

Dear Mahesh,
The matter was obviously represented many times over..to no avail. And do remember we do not have managers taking up the case on our behalf but do so on our own while still training to give our best in performance.If only matters were addressed by sheer representation and logic then things would have been far different in India. And I am not complaining as you have stated...did you see me on TV anytime slamming the federation, i do not believe in mud slinging...I wrote this on my blog so that some of you can know a few reasons behind my decision. Thanks for reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

sir, while watching cwg i was missing your presence.
Actually i had not updated myself with your news, and was just admiring why you have not come up to play. I also had to search a lot on net for your news. Seriously, i have become fan of urs.
U never came up in front of media about all this stuff, so as to save india from another big shameful discussion.
I dont know much about your game, but i know that how important cwg is to you.
Any other person would have made it a national issue.
I think that your decisions was best.

BUT(as i think):
your tolerence should remain until the cwg ends up, the truth should come up and the selection commetee should be made guilty about thier decisions.
They should be accountabe to the whole nation.
The people want to see u in the asian games.
I salute your courage, u are a real hero.
-Mudit gupta.

Capt Suresh Sharma said...

Very sad to read, indeed. Indian will never change, we have genetic disorders in plenty.