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No funds for flight, champ to miss big game in Poland

IANS
Jul 05, 2008 at 02:38pm IST

Kannur, Kerala: Chinchu Jose will miss the World Junior Athletics Championships in Poland, because her family failed to raise enough money to fly her to New Delhi, from where the Indian team leaves for the tournament.

The World Junior Championship begins at Bydgoszcz in Poland on Tuesday.

Chinchu, 17, attended the Asian Junior Athletic Championship at Jakarta last month and had won bronze in 4x400 metre relay. "She was to take part in the same event in Poland," Chinchu's coach Tomi Cherian told IANS.

NOT ABOARD: Young athlete set to miss tournament because she can't buy flight ticket.

Chinchu is a student of Kannur Sports Division, a sports training school, which produced athletes like P T Usha and M D Valsamma.

"Chinchu along with other team members were to leave for Poland from New Delhi on Saturday. She had been asked to report in Delhi by 1630 hrs IST on Friday," said her father C J Jose, a farmer at Balal in Kasargod district.

Chinchu and Jose were planning to leave for New Delhi by train, Wednesday.

"I had even arranged the money for the travel by selling some gold ornaments. But when we contacted her team's coach in Delhi a day before leaving by train, he said that her passport would have to be submitted at least three days prior to their travel to Poland for visa requirements," said Jose.

Jose said he tried to courier the passport to Delhi but courier companies said that they would not accept passport as a consignment. The only way left for Chinchu was to take a flight to Delhi, but Jose found it impossible to raise money for the ticket.

"I told them that availing a loan to meet travel expenses was inadvisable. They are very poor and would not be able to repay it," said Cherian.

Jose said that officials wanted that after the Jakarta championship Chinchu should have come directly to Delhi instead of going to Kerala.

"But if she had not returned, she would have missed her Class XI examination. The officials are of the view Chinchu should have opted out of the examination. How can this be? What would happen to her future if she disregarded the studies?" says Jose.

Chinchu who was eagerly looking forward to the world championship is crestfallen. "We did not find any means to raise the money for the flight ticket," she says.

Jose is also worried as Indian team officials told him that Chinchu could face a ban as she had failed to turn up to be part of the team for the championship.

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