Relay groups miss Olympics qualifier

New Delhi, April 28

An Indian athletics squad, including star sprinters Hima Das and Dutee Chand, was today forced out of next month’s Olympics qualifying World Athletics Relays in Poland after the suspension of a connecting flight to Amsterdam owing to the spike in Covid-19 cases in India.

The women’s 4x100m and the men’s 4x400m relay teams were to board a KLM flight to Amsterdam in the wee hours on Thursday but the Netherlands government suspended flights from India effective Monday evening.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) tried to book an alternate flight available to any European city en route to Silesia in Poland where the event will be held on May 1-2 as there is no direct flight to Poland from India. Adille J Sumariwalla, AFI president said, “We are very disappointed at this moment. There are no direct flights between Indian airports and Warsaw, Poland. This meant that despite the best efforts, the squad could not be rerouted on another airline.” — PTI

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