CHENNAI: The elite men wrestlers are set to train at the indoor hall of Sports Authority of India Sonepat centre from Tuesday, after completing 14-day quarantine. However, they will not be allowed to train with sparring partners as of now due to SAI protocols, a norm some top players felt could have been relaxed. They will train with specifically assigned dummies till the time permission is granted.
While coaches feel they have to follow instructions, wrestlers are not amused with the decision as they believe camp will not serve the purpose if sparring is not allowed. Also when sparring partners are available in the camp.
"I am not aware that sparring is not allowed. We will complete the quarantine period on Monday. Probably by evening or the next day we will be allowed to train in the hall. But the restriction on sparring is not logical as we had already undergone Covid-19 test and returned negative," one of the top wrestlers camping at the venue told TNIE.
"I know it's for our safety but we are already in green zone with no outsider allowed. Without sparring, the camp will yield nothing for us," opined the grappler. "I don't know when sparring would be allowed but for time being we have been instructed to ensure wrestlers train with dummies only," said a coach, who is part of the camp. The coach also informed that the campers will not use the gymnasium.
They instead will do the weight training either in their respective rooms or training hall. "The freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers will train separately. I think we will be allotted a time period both in the morning and evening to avoid overcrowding. Besides, the gym equipment has to be sanitised before and after use as per the standard operating procedure of the Sports Authority of India (SAI)," the coach added.
Four wrestlers — Deepak Punia (86kg), Navin (65kg), Krishan (125kg) and Rahul Aware (57kg) — had tested Covid positive and left the camp either for the SAI empanelled hospital or their respective homes. A couple of Greco-Roman wrestlers didn't join the camp citing injuries. However, their replacements are not likely to be named soon.