CHENNAI: National camps for wrestlers could resume in June if normalcy is restored, but the number of grapplers might reduce significantly. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh spoke to national coaches recently and has asked them to interact with wrestlers — especially those who compete in the Olympic weight categories — to draw a roadmap for the future.
As many as 40 grapplers in each style — freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling — were part of the national camps before the WFI suspended them due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.“WFI president recently interacted with national coaches and instructed them to speak with the wrestlers. He may hold a video-conference with the coaches on or after April 17 once they complete their tasks,” said Vinod Tomar, WFI’s assistant secretary.
Some of the coaches have begun taking necessary action. “We have also been asked to prepare a plan so that the WFI can hold national camps. I have started interacting with wrestlers and will submit my plan soon,” one of the national coaches told this daily.
“We have been in regular touch with the grapplers, especially the ones who compete in the Olympic weight categories. Given the situation, there is a possibility of reducing the number of participants in national camps to 18 for every form of wrestling. It might begin in June but again a final decision could be taken only after taking all the stakeholders into confidence,” informed another national coach.
However, one of the foreign coaches, who left for his home due to the outbreak of the virus, said that he was not spoken to in this regard.Notably, suspension of camps apart from closure of all akharas across the country has left wrestlers to fend for themselves. Most of them are training on their own in their respective hometowns. The United World Wrestling had postponed its championships that were planned before June 30. It had also cancelled all international tournaments in this time frame and had suggested all the national federations to cancel their events. The national federations had also been asked to submit their Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC) to the sports ministry. The WFI aims to finalise it after taking opinions from coaches and wrestlers.
“All competitions planned till June 30 have been cancelled by the world body. The ACTC could only be prepared after finalisation of the UWW calendar but we are taking suggestions from all the coaches and wrestlers,” said Tomar.