No trials for wrestlers, all six quota winners to participate in Olympics : The Tribune India

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No trials for wrestlers, all six quota winners to participate in Olympics

No trials for wrestlers, all six quota winners to participate in Olympics

Quota winners Aman Sehrawat and Anshu Malik had written to the federation about the potential downsides of holding the trials. file



Tribune News Service

Vinayak Padmadeo

New Delhi, May 20

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has decided to not hold the trials to select the Indian team for the Paris Olympics. Many of the wrestlers who have earned the quotas for the country requested the federation to avoid holding the trials as it may lead to injuries.

Among those who have written to the WFI are Aman Sehrawat (57kg), the lone freestyle wrestler to qualify, Anshu Malik (57kg) and Nisha Dahiya (68kg). Significantly, the WFI officials led by new president Sanjay Singh had all but decided to hold the trials following in the footsteps of the previous body.

The decision means that Vinesh Phogat will not get to fight Antim Panghal for the 53kg spot. file

Besides, Vinesh Phogat, in a social media post, had requested the Sports Ministry, the Indian Olympic Association, the Sports Authority of India and the WFI to announce the dates, venue and format for the trials soon.

However, with several wrestlers requesting otherwise, the WFI has seemingly relented. A final decision will be announced tomorrow when the executive body is supposed to meet and deliberate on the matter.

“Most of us are in favour of not holding the trials. I think it will be announced after the meeting,” said a WFI source. “Making the weight is a major problem for the wrestlers. Besides, a few of them have sent us written requests that it may lead to injuries before the Paris Games. Keeping our wrestlers fit and fresh ahead of the Olympics is also very important,” he added.

The WFI, till about 2021, had a policy of sending the quota winner to compete at the Olympics. However, in 2021, when Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was still at the helm, the federation changed the policy and said that trials would be held to select the team. The decision was taken to send out a message to quota winners who would get complacent after qualifying and the federation realised that there was a good second string of youngsters coming through.

Interestingly, the latest decision will also end any chance of a potential trial between Vinesh and Antim Panghal in the 53kg category. Vinesh had trouble making the weight in the 50kg class, in which she has won the Paris quota, for the Asia Olympic Qualifiers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, last month.

Vinesh’s ideal weight class is the 53kg and if the trials were to be held, she would have loved to try her luck in that division. “This is not happening as the federation has decided to not hold the trials,” said another source.

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