|Correction: ParaSport News has been informed since the publishing of this article that no such letter has been sent by the Delhi High Court. This article was published based on several articles published in Indian media, written from the single perspective of the athlete at the center of the situation and her representatives. These sources do not provide a factual accounting of events as reported in the Indian media. ParaSport News apologizes for the error, and notes readers should be aware the first two paragraphs contain factual errors as a result of our sourcing errors.|
Yesterday, the Delhi High Court sent a letter to the International Paralympic Committee requesting that Karam Jyoti be included on the Indian Paralympic team headed to the Rio Games.
Her lawyer Tarun Gupta implied that the decision by the Paralympics Committee of India to leave her off the team was a political decision, with the Paralympics Committee of India and Sports Authority of India favoring another Indian wheelchair shot putter, Deepa Malik, instead. The issue had been discussed in court earlier, with a three-person committee delivering a sealed reported on the selection process on Monday about the fairness of Malik being selected while Gupta was not. Malik had met the A-qualifying standard for Rio in the women’s F53 discuss with a throw of 3.30 meters with a 3.67 meter throw at last year’s IPC World Championships, which gave Malik a fifth place finish.
28-year-old Jyoti hails from Haryana. At last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, she finished fourth in the women’s F55 discus throw with a personal best throw of 19.51 meters, good enough to put her in fourth, 0.54 meters behind German bronze medalist Marie Hawkeswood. The B-qualifying mark for the Rio Games is 14.00 meters, while the A-qualifying mark is 16.00 meters. She had claimed a bronze pair of medals at the 2014 Para Asian Games, qualifying by winning six medals at the India national championships after only having taken up the sport three months prior.
Jyoti acquired her disability when she was 21 years old, as a result of falling off a hotel terrace. In 2015, she was included in India’s Target Olympic Scheme (TOP) program. This occurred after Sports Authority of India failed to nominate her for the Indian team for the 2015 World Championships. The money she has been given to train she used in Finland, where she improved her form.
The Paralympic Committee of India had their suspension lifted by the IPC to allow Indian sportspeople to compete in Rio under their own flag. Failure to make substantive changes by the conclusion of the 2016 Summer Paralympics will lead to the PCI being re-suspended.