CHENNAI: Wrestlers, coaches and support staff who have been shortlisted for national camps will be quarantined for 14 days when they join. As per a WFI proposal, if they still exhibit symptoms, they will be tested.A total of 36 wrestlers (15 male and as many female freestyle grapplers, and six Greco-Roman grapplers) have been selected for the first phase of camps, which will begin once the lockdown is lifted. Six coaches and three support staff will also be a part of the camp. Only those wrestlers who compete in Olympic categories have been selected for the first phase.
“Wrestling is a 100 per cent body contact sport,” said Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) assistant secretary Vinod Tomar. “Resumption of national camps will only happen after lockdown, if the situation is in control. All of those who are selected for the first phase will be tested (if they continue to exhibit symptoms of the disease). The government will bear the expenses.”
This daily had reported that athletes will be subject to a screening for symptoms before they are allowed to join the camps. Sports ministry had told this newspaper that screening is essential, since it is not willing to put at risk athletes who are already at the venues.
Six divisions in each style (freestyle, women’s wrestling and Greco-Roman) are classified as Olympic categories. India has four quotas so far. Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) are the men who’ve made the cut. Vinesh Phogat (53kg) is the sole female wrestler.
Before the lockdown, the women wrestlers’ camp was at SAI Centre in Lucknow. The men’s camp was in Sonepat. However, WFI might explore other options if these state governments extend the lockdown beyond May 17.
“At the moment, the lockdown is supposed to end on May 17 in most states. But we’ll wait before taking a final decision. Everything depends on the situation. As far as venues are concerned, all options will be explored. But it can be done only after May 17.”
SAI has apparently also formed a committee to frame guidelines for resuming training at various centres. Priority will be given to athletes training in Patiala and Bengaluru.