Bengaluru, March 25: The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has asked for an explanation from the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) after it came to light that the facilities for the ongoing National Para Athletics Championship being held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru were not wheelchair-friendly and that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for prevention of COVID-19 were being violated blatantly.
The National Para Athletics Championship is a qualification event for the Tokyo Paralympic Games to be held from August 24 to September 5.
The event was initially supposed to be held in Chennai from March 24 to 27 before it was shifted to Bengaluru at a short notice on March 20.
SAI has asked PCI to sort out the issues immediately.
#ParaAthletes will be back in action starting tomorrow!— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) March 23, 2021
The 19th edition of the National Para Athletics Championships 2021 will start tomorrow at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru.
Watch this space for more on #Parasports. #ParaAthletics pic.twitter.com/yyLXpeKgC5
"It has been brought to the notice of SAI that the facility in Bengaluru at which the Para Athletics National Championships isn't wheelchair-friendly and that Standard Operating Procedures for prevention of COVID-19 are not being adhered to," SAI said in a statement.
"SAI has written to PCI to ensure that these issues are sorted at the earliest and the competition is conducted in a safe and successful manner. SAI has sought a report from the Federation in this regard."
The Hindu daily reported that officials were seen measuring shot put marks with just the torch lights of their mobile phones on.
So far, no para-athlete has made the Tokyo cut.
Rio gold medallist T Mariyappan (high jump T 42) and Sandeep Chaudhary (world record holder in Javelin F 44 category) are among the 900 athletes from 27 states and union territories who would be vying for top honours in the next three days.
(With Agencies/local media inputs)