India insanity! 3 federations vie for masters tracksters at 3 nationals

The soap opera of Indian masters track just got soapier. I wrote an Indian masters athlete the other day to see how things were going in the saga of competing federations (one is WMA-affiliated, the other not). I’ve written about how pay-to-play is in effect. But the note I got Wednesday blew my white-cotton socks off. My source writes: “The situation of India’s masters track has worsened!! We had two federations to date, now we have 3! The first (Masters Athletic Federation of India — MAFI — is led by Mr. David Premnath), the second (India Masters Athletics — IMA — is led by Mr. Gerald D’souza and now the new kid on the block, a federation led by Mr. Pandey from Gujarat (whose site I can’t find). Two ‘nationals’ have already taken place at Rohtak (March 2015) and Dharamshala (April 2015) and the third one is 25th April at Goa!” Oh my!

I've noted this story before, but it bears repeating. India needs to clean masters house!

I’ve noted this story before, but it bears repeating. India needs to clean house!

My correspondent continues:

MAFI is still the one “approved” by WMA / AMA, but their power is dwindling every passing day. The Court cases also continue. The athletes continue to suffer. Threats continue to be given to athletes that if they run the competitions conducted by the others, they will be debarred.

The IMA’s Nationals in Rohtak (during 2015) was very well organized, probably one of the best I have attended in 15 years. The IMA is also participating in the Australian Masters Games in Adelaide in October 2015. The IMA has also organized the first National Corporate Masters Athletic Championship in Mumbai in May 2015, this meet is a prizemoney event and the first 3 places will all get substantial cash awards!! Mr Gerald Dsouza is a lover of the sport and has indeed done a lot for Masters’ Athletics in India.

I continue to run the events organized by both MAFI and IMA. I ran the MAFI State Championship in Dhule and the IMA State / National Championships in Thane and Rohtak, respectively. I have never been directly threatened … but the others continue to be threatened and arm-twisted.

In fact, the Entry / Admission form of the MAFI clearly states (in writing) that athletes cannot run in rival competitions !! Please see the first attachment for proof !! You have no right to tell me what meets I can or cannot run. Imagine Boston Marathon stating that if you run Boston you cannot run New York Marathon!!!

I have the results of the IMA’s Mangalore Nationals of 2014. I will also send you the Rohtak 2015 National Results … when I get it.

I have been doing my athletics (despite my busy professional life) and intend to compete in the European Masters Games in Nice, France in October 2015.

Yes, the situation has not changed. Athletes who don’t run the MAFI Nationals are not allowed to participate in the World Masters Athletics Championship (WMA) and the Asian Master Athletics Championship (AMA)

This boggles the mind. I could say something cute, but it doesn’t do justice to the hurt. Poor India.

Here’s a story from the India Today archives you gotta read.

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April 22, 2015

One Response

  1. Weia Reinboud - April 23, 2015

    Just 400 million athletes per organisation 😉

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