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Guwahati: Asian Games bronze medallist gymnast Ashish Kumar will be competing at the Doha World Cup but is set to miss the Baku World Cup after failing to send his entry on time.

Ashish, the first Indian gymnast to win medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, had sent his request to participate at the Baku World Cup to Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI) after the deadline set by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

"GFI received an email on 20th January 2019 from Ashish Kumar showing his willingness to participate in the World Cup at Baku. However the definitive registration deadline (8th Jan 2019) was already past by that time. As per rules, late registration is possible but now with a fine of CHF 1,250 payable to the International Federation," GFI vice president Riyaz Bhati told PTI.

"Since the request was after the deadline, the applicable fine has to be borne by the person making the belated request. We have accordingly advised Ashish to arrange for payment of fine so as to enable us to make his registration. We have also informed this to Mr Rajinder Pathania, Project Officer in Sports Authority of India."

However, Ashish decided not to pay the penalty after much deliberation and accordingly informed GFI about his decision to skip the Baku event.

"Respected sir this is to inform you that I am focusing on Doha World Cup so I am not participating in Baku World Cup," Ashish wrote in his mail to GFI.

The 29-year-old from Allahabad, who had won a bronze medal in the floor exercise and later a silver medal on vault at the 2010 CWG, said the competition will be tough at the Doha event and he would look to qualify for the 2020 Olympics at the World Championship in Stuttgart to be held from October 4 to October 13.

"The FIG has changed the point system of all the events and it will be very difficult to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics at the World Cups where one has to win a gold to have any hopes. So I will be primarily targeting the World Championship to qualify," Ashish told PTI.

Ashish had won India's first Asian Games medal, a bronze at the Guangzhou edition in the floor exercises but thereafter shoulder and wrist injuries affected his performance.

Ashish had a dismal performance on Pommel Horse at the 2018 Asian Games, finishing at 19th overall and he would look for redemption this season.




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