The 2022 Commonwealth Games kick-started with a glitzy opening ceremony at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, where thousands of athletes from over 100 nations walked onto the stage to greet the spectators. The Indian contingent, led by Manpreet Singh, included a total of 164 athletes and support staff.
Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain, along with Muhammad Hussamuddin, decided to leave the event midway, but got stranded outside the stadium for more than an hour. Unable to book a cab, the duo had no clue about how to reach the Games village, located at 30 minutes drive from the stadium. The online transaction wasn’t working, and cash was not accepted by ride-hailing apps.
Borgohain had a training session the next morning, and thus wanted to leave the venue early to get proper sleep.
“We are leaving now. We want to train in the morning as we have on the day after. The ceremony will go on for a long time so we thought we should leave. We asked for a taxi but we were told that was not available when asked the reason for her leaving the event,” Lovlina told India today.
Eventually, they boarded the first bus bound for their destination. The Boxing Federation Of India was not pleased with the event, as BFI vice-president and the CDM Rajesh Bhandari stated that she shouldn’t have come if she wanted to leave early.
“We were in the middle of the ceremony and I got to know later that she and another boxer left early. We all came in buses and the taxi option was not available at that time. They shouldn’t have come if they wanted to leave early,” said Bhandari.
A few days ago, Lovlina took to Twitter to complain against the BFI for not allowing her personal coach inside the village. Many high-profile politicians, including Priyanka Vadra, amplified her tweet, asking for immediate government intervention. The BFI paid heed to her request, and her personal coach finally got the accreditation.
Featured Image Credit: Olympics/Twitter