Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, feels "low & utterly disappointed" at being 'dropped' from the list of SAI's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
"I have won a medal for the country in the last Olympics. I am 27 not so old... and I am striving to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics which is just 9 months away. And you drop me from TOP Scheme. I am really disappointed and feel dejected. You cannot judge me by my one failure in World Championship (held in Kazakhstan last month),"
The Sports Authority of India came out with its new list on Friday, which "did not continue" with Sakshi as a TOP scheme beneficiary and had preferred to include new faces (young wrestlers).
Her husband Satyawart Kadiyan, the 2014 CWG silver medallist in 97 kg category, feels that "gross injustice" was meted out to Sakshi. "Yeh sahi nahi kiya. SAI ke logo ko samanjhna chahiye thha. Yeh Olympic medalist hai. Commonwealth & Asian Games nahi... (It's not fair. SAI hasn't done the right thing with her. She is an Olympic medallist, not a CWG or Asian Games medallist)," he observed.
Satyawart said a little more respect and faith was expected from the authorities. "Sakshi pe bharosa hona chahiye thha. Badi wrestler hai. Phir se medal dilayegi. (They should have shown some faith in Sakshi. She will again bring medal)," he added.
Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh also felt bad at the new development. "I feel for Sakshi. She has been there. She still has a chance to qualify and prove her detractors wrong."
Sakshi lost in the first round of the World Wrestling Championship and failed to qualify for the Olympics but she still has two chances or qualifying tournaments in the next four months.
Sources in SAI said the sports body just follow the strict rules. "It's not the end of the road for Sakshi. We can always include her once she qualifies for the Olympics," he added.