No ticket, Mahavir misses Babita’s Commonwealth bout
Gold Coast, April 12
When Babita Phogat fought for gold in the afternoon, her father sat outside the venue, unable to watch his daughter fight for the medal. Mahavir Phogat has lots of fans in India, because it was he who created the legend of the Phogat sisters. But the legend has no fans in the Indian wrestling officialdom. Babita says she tried her best to get tickets for her father from IOA. Did she ask the chef-de-mission of India, Vikram Sisodia? “Yes, I asked everyone!” cried Babita, feeling humiliated at the plight of her father, and deeply saddened by her defeat in the 53kg final. “My father had come here to see me wrestle, for the first time,” she said. “I am sad that he has been here since morning but could not get ticket to come in. An athlete is entitled to two tickets but we have not been given those. I tried my best but he had to sit outside. He couldn’t watch it here and he couldn’t watch it on TV also.”Babita said she was aware that two athletes (Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu) had their father/mother here as officials. “I know about them,” she said. “Yes, why such treatment to them? Why not all of us. I think this is very wrong. IOA should not give preferential treatment to some athletes. This is wrong.”“Anyway, I’m not even asking for accreditation for my father – I only wanted a pass so that he could come in,” she said. Eventually, she was offered a pass by the Australian wrestling team, but by the time he got in, his daughter’s bouts were finished.