Mumbai :It seems controversy has become an unextricable part of every aspect of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Synchronised swimmers Avanti and Anushka are part of the Indian squad for the Games and have alleged that they have not been given a fair chance to represent the country in the competition.
In January they were invited to participate in long intensive camps under the guidance of Japanese Coach Haruka Fujishima.
Back from Japan and barely two months to the Games, the 7-member team has been split up without their knowledge and three members have been sent to the United States for further training.
All this has happened without any official selection. Even more perplexing is the issue that one member's mother Bharati Dave who is a support staff for the team has accompanied her daughter to the US as the team's coach.
This has left the others demoralised and amazed at the functioning of the authorities.
"The same thing happened in the Asian Games. They just randomly selected two girls without saying why. They always do it. There is no reason given. It's very demoralising", said Avanti Merchant.
The Sports Authority of India has now sent a letter explanation the action. In the letter it is mentioned that coach Fujishima has recommended only three of the seven girls for the competition category. She recommends the remaining four including Avanti and Anushka only for the opening ceremony performance.
But the girls possess a copy of another letter sent by coach Fujishima to the Grievance Cell of the Commonwealth Games. It raises questions about Bharati Dave's credentials and also clarifies that no official selection has been conducted for either the competition category or the opening ceremony.
Does that mean the whole selection has been ad hoc? The answers may never be found.
Avanti and Anushka, who have given up school, exams to represent India in synchronised swimming are now hurt by the ad hoc manner in which they have been treated and are not sure whether they will have a fair chance in the final selections.