The Indian sporting community was left stunned when news emerged that Dhanalakshmi Sekar, only sprinter from the country who qualified for the World Athletics Championships 2022, will be missing the event after visa issues.
Sekar, 24, could not complete her visa formalities in due time before travelling to Oregon, USA, where the event is taking place. The World Athletics Championships began on July 15 and will run its course on Sunday, July 24.
However, it is not only the Indian sprinter who failed to participate in the championships because of visa problems. Still, Sekar’s scenario remains different from the others across the world.
The 24-year-old missed the US Embassy’s appointment for Indian athletes due to the World Championships in June. The sprinter was in Kazakhstan at the time, participating at the Qosanov Memorial meet. She recorded her personal best of 22.89 seconds at the meet and managed to win the gold medal.
“Since I had gone to Kazakhstan, my US visa appointment got cancelled. And for the Commonwealth Games, they had put my UK visa appointment for July 1. I had to attend that, and my passport got held up there,” Dhanalakshmi told The Hindu.
“I’m disappointed but I thought I’d focus on the Commonwealth and do well there. In the Commonwealth Games probably if we try hard, we could win a relay medal. So, I thought I’d stay back and train (in India). Anyway, we have the world championships next year too,” she added.
23 Indian athletes were scheduled to participate at the World Athletics Championships this year. However, following Dhanalakshmi’s visa problems and Tajinderpal Singh Toor’s injury, 21 are competing in the US for medals.