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Rediff.com  » Sports » Visa woes for Wrestler Geetika ahead of Olympic qualifier

Visa woes for Wrestler Geetika ahead of Olympic qualifier

May 03, 2012 12:21 IST

Despite winning the case in the Delhi High Court against the Wrestling Federation of India, Geetika Jakhar's Olympic dream is still hanging by a thread as she is yet to get her visa for Helsinki, Finland, where the last qualifying event for London Games is starting on Thursday.

The Indian squad has already reached the venue, except Geetika, whose hopes are now pinned on the Sports Ministry to get her visa application cleared.

Geetika JakharThe Delhi High Court had last week directed the WFI to allow Geetika to participate in the qualifiers in Helsinki and obtain a visa for her.

The matter had reached the court when WFI decided to hold retrials in her 63kg category despite Geetika winning the trials by beating Alka Tomar on April 19 to qualify for the Helsinki event.

Geetika first knocked the doors of the Sports Ministry and then the Delhi High court, which ultimately ruled in her favour.

According to a WFI official, the Federation applied for her visa on Monday despite court directing them on Friday (April 28) and it has not been cleared yet.

"All my teammates have left for Finland. There is no fault of mine if visa application was filed late. My case was in court. All my hard work of 13-14 years would go waste if I fail to reach Finland on time," Geetika said.

"I can still reach there if I get my visa today. My weighing is on May 5th and bout on May 6th. So, if I get visa today I can reach on time and compete. This is my last chance to qualify for the Olympics.

"The Ministry had helped me when I approached them when the Federation tried to cheat me. Now again, if they can help me get visa, I can pursue my dream of representing the nation at the Olympics," Geetika, a silver medallist at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, added.

When enquired about Geetika's visa application, a WFI official, who did not wish to be named, said that it was procedural delay.

"We had applied for her visa on Monday but since Finland is a Schengen, they are very particular about their process and that's why the delay," the official said.

He also added that the Embassy accepted the application only when it was showed the court order.

Geetika, however, claimed that the Federation is not interested in sending her.

"They called my lawyer yesterday and asked since my visa application is yet to get clearance, let Anita (another wrestler in 63kg category) go and compete. By this I understood that they are still not keen on me going there. This is injustice," she said.

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