World Cup trip of Indian archers vetoed due to closure of Pakistan's airspace | More sports news



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NOVA D√ČLI: India's top archers were forced to return from Delhi's international airport on Saturday morning after their trip to the Medellin World Cup in Colombia had to be canceled due to the closure of Pakistan's airspace.

Pakistan closed its airspace after India's strike at a terror camp in Balakot in February and although it has partially opened a flight route this month, the brakes are still in force, such as the 23-member archipelago such as Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Atanu. Das, Tarundeep Rai and Abhishek Verma discovered their dismay.

Some archers arrived at the airport only to be informed by the airline – KLM Royal Dutch – that they would miss the connecting flight. The archers were flying in Delhi-Amsterdam-Bogota. From Bogota, they were booked on a domestic flight to Medellin, home of the World Cup, which is scheduled from April 22 to 28.

"The KLM Airlines team informed us that all their flights were delayed by two hours due to the closure of Pakistan's airspace and that we could not get our connecting flight from Bogota," Deepika told TOI.

Medellin WC would be an ideal training event before the World Cup


She said they informed the Archery Association of India (AAI) about the problem.

"The federation tried to book us in different carriers, but could not find places. In the end, AAI made the decision to cancel the trip. It is very sad and disappointing that we missed the opportunity to compete in a world-class event. That would really help us prepare for the World Championship, "she said.

The World Championship in Holland in June will decide the crucial points for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

When asked why AAI had no prior knowledge of the airspace issue in Pakistan, Deepika said: "You need to ask the federation, the Indian Sports Authority (SAI) and flight booking agent Balmer and Lawrie. We will now return to our national camp in Pune on Sunday. "

It was not possible to determine when tickets were booked – before or after airspace closure. TOI tried to get in touch with AAI president BVP Rao and Secretary Maha Singh but their phones were disconnected. Satyadev's archery officer, Satyadev, did not respond to the calls.

In March, due to the same issue, India lost the hosting rights to two tennis events – the Davis Cup Junior Jamboree from April 8 to 13 and the Fed Cup from 15 to 20 April.

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