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India forced to make last-minute change in travel

September 17, 2014

INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — The Indian Olympic Association has been forced to make last-minute changes to its travel plans for athletes going to the Asian Games because of a new government directive, leaving little time for its athletes to acclimatize and for the organizers to re-work the practice schedules.

“We’ve had to change the flight bookings for athletes in at least eight disciplines,” India’s deputy chef de mission, Bhupender Singh Bajwa, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “It’s meant a lot of re-scheduling at the last minute but it was something we could not help.”

The organizers have been unable to utilize the time slots allotted for practice because of the late change in India’s plans.

The Indian government has been firm on several fronts regarding the contingent. It struck off 263 names recommended by the IOA just 10 days before the games.

The national Olympic body had recommended 662 athletes and 280 officials in a contingent of 942, but the list was cut to 516 athletes and 163 support staff for a total of 679.

India had sent a contingent of 933 members, including 609 athletes, for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, where it won 65 medals, including 14 gold.

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