'Sania Mirza was too late to change into saree'

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Beijing, Aug 10: Facing flak from all quarters for allowing Sania Mirza and Sunitha Rao in casuals in the Olympic opening ceremony, IOA President Suresh Kalmadi today said it was a decision taken by Chef de Mission K Murugan after the duo had expressed desire to be part of the contingent but had no time to change.

Kalmadi said both the tennis players had just returned from a prolonged practice session and did not have enough time to deck up in the official saree for  march past, hence they turned out in casuals. "Murugan was in two minds whether to leave them out or allow them in casuals. They had just returned from practice and wanted to go. Personally, their practice was more important for me than attending the ceremony.

I'm happy they still wanted to go. Murugan was bit confused and he finally allowed them to attend the ceremony in casuals," Kalmadi told reporters here.

"We had kept saree for all women athletes and it just happened that they didn't have time to change.

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