The Indian rowing team's preparations for the Olympic qualifiers have been hampered because of an unsual reason -- their oars have gone missing.
The eight-member squad arrived in Shanghai for the event but has not been able to practice at all for the last three days since the airlines in which they travelled has misplaced the oars.
"The team left for Shanghai from Hyderabad on April 16 but has not been able to practice because the oars have gone missing. Thai Airways has misplaced it and till now they have no clue where it has gone," the President of the Indian Rowing Federation, KP Singh Deo said.
He said the team had prepared for the event for the last four years and it was extremely irresponsible on the part of the airlines to misplace their equipment.
"The oars are very expensive and it is not easy to get suitable replacements in Shanghai at such a short notice. This has certainly affected our preparations for the crucial event," he said.
Singh Deo said the Rowing Federation was making arrangements to send another set of oars through courier but that will also take some time before it reaches Shanghai.
"All the rowers have their personal oars, so it will take some time to adjust," he said.
The team, comprising four men and four women rowers, have just three more days to prepare with the qualifiers scheduled to begin from April 23.