CHENNAI: Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia (65 kg), Ravi Dahiya (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) — training in Russia will fly out for Tokyo on July 29 and reach there next day. Earlier, they were planning to leave the country either on July 26 or 27 but the delay has apparently been caused due to unavailability of accredited Covid-19 testing centres at their base Vladikavkaz.
As per the playbook issued by the IOC, the participants have to take two Covid-19 tests on two separate days within 96 hours of their flight to Japan from an accredited lab. One of these two tests has to be taken within 72 hours of departure.
“The three wrestlers, their coaches and support staff will reach Moscow on July 25. They will take two tests there at the accredited lab before flying out for Tokyo on July 29. They will land in Japan the next day,” a Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) official told this daily. The wrestling competition is scheduled to begin on August 1. It is also learnt that Ravi and Deepak along with other support staff have to participate at the Games without taking their second doses of the Covishield vaccine.
Meanwhile, the women wrestlers — Seema Bisla (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) — who are training in Haryana’s Sonepat, and their support staff will leave the country on July 26. Vinesh Phogat (53kg), who is training in Hungary, will also fly out for Tokyo on the same day.
Mirabai reaches Tokyo
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, her coach Vijay Sharma and two other members of support staff reached Tokyo on Friday afternoon. They were training in the USA and left the country on Thursday. “It took us around three hours to complete formalities at the airport. We headed straight to Games Village from the airport,” Sharma said. Seeded second in her weight category (49kg), Mirabai will be action on July 24.