Disheartened but Paes confirms participation in Olympics
"I am looking forward to representing my country with the teams that the All India Tennis Association have selected," Paes said after winning his Wimbledon first-round match in the men's doubles with regular Czech partner Radek Stepanek.
After days of maintaining a stoic silence on his Olympic participation, Paes said despite being left disheartened by the controversy, he is focussed on playing "sport and not politics".
The 39-year-old had threatened to withdraw from the Olympics despite being India's number one doubles player after being paired with Vardhan for the big event.
Paes' partners of choice -- Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna -- refused to combine with him and insisted on being sent as a team themselves. The All India Tennis Association ultimately bowed to their insistence, leaving Paes furious.
If that was not enough, his mixed doubles partner for the Games -- Sania Mirza -- also took a potshot at Paes by claiming that she was used as a "bait" to pacify him.
"I am here to play sport and not politics," Paes said
"Unfortunately, I see the games being played within games, and as much as that is very disheartening, I am looking forward to playing my sixth Olympics for my country as I have played for 22 years for the people and the flag."
Paes, the world number seven doubles player, said he had no complaints about being paired with Vardhan, who is ranked 207 in the ATP list.
Asked about Sania's outburst, Paes refused any direct comment, saying, "Every Olympics has some nonsense coming in with it."
"I know how much hard work goes into what I do. (Either) people choose to respect it, which I'm very lucky that India does, (or) people choose to disrespect. That's their problem, not mine," he added.
Assam, Feb 22 (ANI): These youngsters have gathered at the Jorhat Districts Sports Association Field to participate in a recruitment rally b... More Assam, Feb 22 (ANI): These youngsters have gathered at the Jorhat Districts Sports Association Field to participate in a recruitment rally being conducted by the Indian Army. Thousands of youth from different districts of Assam as well as from Arunachal Pradesh took part in the process. Through this recruitment drive, hundreds of people will be selected and absorbed into the different regiments of the Indian Army. The army officials were impressed by the large turnout. The Indian army and other security forces regularly conduct such recruitment programmes in the region with an aim to increase the presence of youth from the Northeast in the armed forces.
Date 22-02-14, Duration 1:54, Views 40