Tokyo Paralympics gold medalist Avani Lekhara used her official social media account to express her disappointment that her coach and companion were not granted visas for the upcoming World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Chateauroux, France. The 20-year-old won a gold medal in the 10-meter air rifle standing and a bronze medal in the 50-meter rifle triples.
Since Lekhara’s trainer and companions have not received a visa, she cannot travel to France for the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup. Upon hearing her disappointment, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) social media address responded to her tweet.
Lekhara expresses her disappointment that her team does not get visas
Avani Lekhara took to her official Twitter account on June 4 and asked, among others, India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, Minister of Sports and Youth Anurag Thakur to give her all possible support in obtaining visas for her escort Ms. Shweta receive Jewaria and her trainer Mr. Rakesh Manpat. She stressed that June 7th was an important game for her.
In particular acc PTI, Lekhara is not the only athlete unable to compete in the Paralympics Shooting World Cup in France as six members of the Indian contingent were denied visas despite intervention by the Indian government. In response to Lekhara’s tweet, the SAI said: “It is unfortunate that not all visas of the Indian para-shooting contingent going to France have been approved. MYAS and MEA have made every effort to secure all visas, but unfortunately this time the effort did not materialize.”
Speaking of the situation in a conversation with PTIChief National Coach and Chairman of Indian Para Shooting Jai Prakash Nautiyal said: “Singharaj, Rahul Jhakhar and Deepinder Singh (all para pistol shooters) and two coaches, Subhas Rana (national coach) and Vivek Saini (assistant coach) have their visas not received .”
He added: “The French embassy didn’t give a reason, just said that there is a huge increase in visas. We applied for our visas on April 23 and were confident that we would all be approved ) also intervened and helped us, but six members still had their visas denied.”
“We are now going with a 22-strong contingent that includes 14 shooters. We were quite confident that all members’ visas would be released as Paris will be the host of the next Paralympics and there are 18 quota places on offer for the 2024 Paralympics tournament,” concluded Nautiyal.
The World Shooting Para Sport World Cup, which takes place from June 4th to 13th, is of great importance for the Paralympic athletes, since quota places for the Paris Paralympics are awarded there.