Friday, October 15, 2010

Medals won by Indian Shooter Mistakenly placed in Oz Athlete Baggage Created Panic

On Wednesday, India almost ‘lost’ two medals, which were won by one of its ace shooters, to Australia. Heena Sidhu, who had won gold in 10m air pistol team event and silver in individual event, spent a few anxious moments after her bag containing the medals was mistakenly placed in the baggage of an Australian athlete by security officers during the compulsory baggage checking at the Games Village.

According to sources, the incident took place after Heena had returned to the Village after winning her silver medal on Wednesday. ‘‘She was carrying clothes and training kit along with her medals. The bag she was carrying was identical to that of an Australian athlete. The unintended exchange took place at the baggage scanning area managed by Delhi Police,’’ said a senior venue officer. The cops said they began checking CCTV footage as soon as they were intimated by the Indian officials about the missing bag. ‘‘We traced the bag to tower 34 of an Australian athlete. We contacted her and asked her to return the bag as she was not its real owner. She was taken aback as she had not even checked that bag. She willingly gave back the bag and took her own bag from us. Everything inside the bag was found intact, including the medals, which was handed back to Heena,’’ said an officer.

The cops said they contacted Heena and Indian contingent at the Village and apologized for the ‘‘inadvertent error.’’

Though Heena could not be contacted, her shooting partner and gold medal winner, Annuraj Singh, confirmed the incident. ‘‘Everything is all right now. We are proud of Heena’s achievements. The problem has been solved to everyone’s satisfaction,’’ said the ace shooter.