Heartbreak for Johny as IOA rejects women karate team for Asian Games

[M Doley]

ITANAGAR, Jul 5: Johny Mangkhya’s Asian Games dream has been shattered after the Indian Olympic Association [IOA] dropped the women karate team from the Indonesia-bound national team.
The IOA on Tuesday released the final list of the Indian contingent for the forthcoming Asian Games, where the women karate team has been left out.
The IOA, however, did not cite the reason for dropping the six women karate players, including Mangkhya from Arunachal Pradesh.
Interestingly, two karate players from the so-called ‘mainland’ have been found in the IOA list.
In her home state, sports administrators, mentors and public have expressed shock over Mangkhya’s exclusion from the national team.
“I am deeply shocked after hearing that Johny and five other karate players have been dropped from the national team,” said Sports Authority of Arunachal Chairman Bamang Tago.
“This not only heartbreaking but also very discouraging and detrimental to the growth of sports,” he said.
Tago has written to the president and the secretary general of the IOA to let him know the reason[s] for exclusion of Mangkhya from the Indian contingent.
Tago said he has also conveyed to the chief minister and the sports minister to take up the matter with the union sports & youth affairs ministry.
When contacted, Arunachal Olympic Association secretary general Abraham K Techi said he will be leaving for New Delhi to take up the matter with the IOA.
Techi said the matter is being taken up at the government level.
“We have submitted a memorandum to Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju to take up the matter with the youth affairs and sports ministry,” Techi said.
“We are hopeful that IOA would reconsider its decision,” he said.
Arunachal Karate Do Association general secretary Bulang Marik said he was deeply hurt and saddened by the rejection of Mangkhya and her five compatriots.
“I have spent sleepless night since I heard the news of her rejection,” Marik said.
It is worth mentioning that Mangkhya’s recent trip to Iran for her advanced training was borne by the AKA officials.
AKA president Likha Tara, who is also the vice president of the Karate Association of India, could not be contacted as he is currently out of the country, leading the Indian contingent at the WKF Karate 1 Youth Championship in Croatia.
Meanwhile, Tago called up selection committee chairman Lalit Bhanot, who is currently in Bangok, Thailand, attending a meeting related to the Games, and conveyed his concern.
“He (Bhanot) is unaware of the matter and has assured me to look into it when he returns from Bangkok,” Tago said.
“When apprised of the matter, Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who is currently in Japan, also expressed concern over the matter and assured to take it up with the ministry concerned as soon as he returns from that country,” Tago said.