Athletes' London dreams shattered for Rs 30,000

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: When the central government claims of having spent crores on Olympic probables under the OPEX scheme, India`s top athletes P Kunhumohammed (400m) and Joseph Abraham (400m hurdles) will not participate in Sri Lanka`s national athletics championship, the duo`s last chance for qualifying for the London Olympics, due to lack of funds.

Kunhumohammed needed a sum of 30,000 to make it to the national athletics competition of Sri Lanka, which starts on Thursday, Times of India reported.

The duo has repeatedly contacted the Sports Council and Kerala Athletics Association for financial help but was turned down by Padmini Thomas, the Sports Council president, saying that there was no provision for advance payment, the report added.

Kunhumohammed, who clocked a personal best of 46.14 seconds at the Asian GP in Thailand in May, was targeting the qualification mark of 45.90s. Joseph Abraham came close to qualifying at the Federation Cup timing 49.98s as against the criterion of 49.80s in the 400m hurdles.