China sponsored waterpolo team to keep the game alive

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) says it agreed to take Chinese help in fielding the women’s waterpolo team at the Asian Games to ensure that the discipline is not dropped by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) from future editions of the mega-event.

Women’s water polo made its debut in Guangzhou, but there were only three entries, not enough for a competition. So, at the request of the Chinese Waterpolo Association (CWA), SFI decided to send its weak side as the fourth team.

The CWA paid for India’s participation because they did not want to lose a gold medal-winning opportunity.

“If we had not sent our team, women’s waterpolo could have been dropped in future. They offered to pay us for the trip and we agreed,” said SFI general secretary Virendra Nanavati

“We wanted water polo to remain as an event at the Asian Games. The OCA would have got a reason to drop the event in the next Games, citing lesser number of entries.”

Nanavati said they send the team which was selected to participate in the Commonwealth Waterpolo Championship which was scheduled to be held in the first week of November in Chennai.

“Unfortunately, it had to be cancelled following the withdrawal of some teams. We had the team ready and as sson as we got this request, we thought of sending them.”

China eventully won the gold while Kazakhstan got the silver and Uzbekistan the bronze. India fared poorly at the bottom of the event.

Filed under: Sports

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