The airlines’ officials ‘ruse’ was that she wasn’t in possession of the stipulated medical certificate authorised by host country Italy. Helpless, the dejected teenager returned to her native place after the crew stopped her from boarding the flight.
B Poornisha (16), a plus two student from Mathakottai in Thanjavur, was selected for the India Inline Skating Hockey team which was scheduled to take part in the World Championship in Italy. As many as 16 countries including the USA, Argentina, Spain, Italy and France were due to participate in the event which was held from September 8 to 12.
The India girls contingent comprised 10 members, while the men’s team consisted of 16 members. Poornisha had the unique distinction of being the only player from south India to get selected.
While all the nine women players boarded the flight to Italy on September 8, Poornisha could not get her visa on time and so she was left alone at the Mumbai airport with the downloaded copy of her Visa. After completing all the formalities, including the mandatory COVID test in the airport, Poornisha, who had also received the boarding pass, was asked to wait by the Qatar airways officials as she needed to submit the medical report acceptable to the Italian government.
“We tried a lot to explain and even established contact with the Italian consulate officials who gave me permission to travel. Despite that, the airways officials did not allow me. Our sports authorities too contacted the airline officials but they paid no heed. I was shocked by their intransigence”, Poornisha told DTNext.
Left with no other choice, she returned to her home town Thanjavur on Friday. “This was supposed to be my first international match but I’m still under shock as to why they had not allowed me”, lamented Poornisha, who is eagerly waiting for the Asian Games and the World tournament in 2022.
Poornisha had bagged six gold medals and one bronze medal in the state and national events.