After Kerala High Court directed the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) to include woman middle-distance runner PU Chitra in the squad for the upcoming World Athletics Championships in London, AFI's selection committee chairman Gurbachan Singh Randhawa on 29 July said that they are bound to follow the court's order.
In a telephonic conversation with ANI, Randhawa said that Chitra had failed to meet the qualifying mark before adding that the 1500m gold which she won in the recent Asian Athletic Championships was not the only criteria for selection.
Randhawa, who was responsible for Chitra's exclusion from the Indian squad, also defended his decision. He said if AFI had given her advance entry, then she could have taken part.
While declaring the interim order, the Kerala High Court had observed that the selection procedure was not transparent before directing the AFI to ensure Chitra's participation in the IAAF World Championship.
The court had also asked the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports as well as AFI to submit details of the selection procedure.
Chitra clinched the 1,500m gold at the July Asian athletics meet in Bhubaneswar after clocking around 4: 17 seconds. She finished second in the inter-state meet clocking around 4:28. The qualifying mark for the London meet, which is slated to be held from August 4 to August 13, is 4:07.
The Indian squad for the world championship has already reached London and it looks unlikely that the IAAF would encourage lateral entry for Chitra.