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Hangzhou Asian Games: Sports Minister Anurag Thakur opens up on visa denial to wushu players

Image Source : PTI Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has opened up on the ongoing controversy involving India’s three wushu players who hail from Arunachal Pradesh and were denied visas by the Chinese authorities for the 19th edition of the Asian Games in Hangzhou. While addressing a bunch of reporters, Thakur said that it was also the responsibility of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to ensure the same. He commented that handling the matter was not good by any standards.

“As per the Olympic charter, the players should have been granted visas. China should have granted the visas regardless of where the player belongs to (in India). Arunachal Pradesh is and will remain an integral part of India doesn’t matter who says what. India will not bow down….” said Thakur.

Earlier, the Sports Minister cancelled his visit to China ahead of the opening ceremony of the Asian Games which came as a sign of protest from India after the denial of visas to the wushu players. Meanwhile, the Indian contingent is slowly making encouraging progress on the medal tally. India have already bagged two gold medals, four silver and seven bronze and are seventh on the ladder. 

However, despite a slow start, India can still scale the ladder as there are plenty of sporting disciplines where the country can still bag medals. Nikhat Zareen (boxing), Neeraj Chopra (javelin), Lovlina Borgohain are among the top medal contenders for India in the individual disciplines whereas in the team events the Indian men’s hockey team, the men’s and women’s kabaddi team alongside the men’s cricket team can also win gold in the days to come.

The Indian men’s hockey team in particular is in searing form and has won two games on the trot in a convincing way. They kicked off their campaign with a splendid victory over Uzbekistan and have followed it up with 16-1 win over Singapore.

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