Three wrestlers leave for Tokyo Games, Vinesh Phogat flies out from Hungary

Indian women wrestlers Seema Bisla (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) left for Tokyo along with two coaches and a physiotherapist on Monday evening.

Published: 27th July 2021 10:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2021 10:08 AM   |  A+A-

Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat (File Photo | AP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Indian women wrestlers Seema Bisla (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) left for Tokyo along with two coaches and a physiotherapist on Monday evening. They are scheduled to reach their destination on Tuesday morning.

The wrestlers, along with the coaches (Kuldeep Malik and Rajeev Tomar), were training at the SAI centre in Sonepat while being in isolation.

They also underwent RT-PCR tests for seven consecutive days before their departure as was mandated by the Tokyo Games organising committee.  

Meanwhile, star wrestler Vinesh Phogat (53kg) is scheduled to reach the Japanese capital on Tuesday and join the team. She also left from Hungary on Monday.

Her Hungarian coach Woller Akos will also reach the venue on the same day but it is learnt that he is travelling separately and got an accreditation card through the Hungarian Olympic Committee.   

“We saw them off at the New Delhi airport. The Indian contingent comprises six members including a physiotherapist. Our advice to the wrestlers was simple, compete in the Games like any other international event. Anshu’s father and coach Ajmer Malik also gave the same advice to the wrestlers,” Sonam’s father Rajinder Malik told this daily.

The male wrestlers — Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) — along with their personal coaches and other support staff, have reached Moscow from their training base in Vladikavkaz and are training in the Russian capital.

The three wrestlers underwent the first Covid test on Monday and will take another test on Tuesday before leaving for Tokyo. The three personal coaches, however, will start taking tests from Wednesday onwards as they will join the wrestlers a couple of days later.

“The women wrestlers have left and Vinesh will join them in Tokyo. Male wrestlers will leave Russia on July 29,” Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), told this daily.

Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis is supervising Bajrang’s preparations while Ravi is being coached by Russian Kamal Malikov. Murad Gaidarov, the 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medallist, is the coach of Deepak.

“The reason for the late departure of personal coaches is limited accreditation cards issued by organisers in the wake of the pandemic. Cards of other members of the Indian contingent will be transferred to them once the former leave Games Village. That’s why they will leave Moscow on August 1 and reach Tokyo a day later to be with their wards,” added Tomar.

Till Monday, India have managed only one medal, with weightlifter Mirabai Chanu winning silver in 49kg category. The wrestlers are favourites to win medals at the ongoing Games.



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