CHENNAI: Indian wrestlers may be seen competing against each other in the Ranking Series as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has sent multiple entries in a few weight categories for the event. A team comprising 34 wrestlers has been named for the event scheduled in Rome from March 4 to 7.
While two entries have been sent for three weight categories (57kg, 65kg and 86kg), three wrestlers were named for 74kg in men's freestyle. Similarly, two wrestlers were named in 53kg and 62kg in women's section.
Except for the 74kg (freestyle) and 62kg (women), Indian wrestlers (Ravi Dahiya-57kg, Bajrang Punia-65kg, Deepak Punia-86kg and Vinesh Phogat-53kg) had already secured an Olympic quota each in the remaining weight categories. These Olympic quota holders along with gold winners of the national championships have been named in the squad.
As far as 74kg division is concerned, three wrestlers — the nationals gold medallist Sandeep Singh Mann, former World Championships medallist Narsingh Yadav and Jitender Kinha — were included in the team.
The WFI had earlier announced that gold medallists from the nationals would be given a chance to compete in Rome while selection trials would be held to pick teams for the two remaining Olympic qualifiers. Speaking on multiple entries, Vinod Tomar, WFI's assistant secretary, said, "We had a choice of sending three entries in each weight category."
Meanwhile, the event will also mark the return of ace wrestlers, Bajrang and Vinesh, to the international circuit since the Covid-19 pandemic. The duo skipped the World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia in December last year. Both had won a gold each in Rome last year.
It will also give Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik a chance to impress national selectors ahead of the trials for the qualifiers. Sakshi was defeated by Sonam Malik in 62kg final of the nationals. Both were named in the team.
Freestyle: Ravi Kumar (57kg), Pankaj (57kg), Bajrang (65kg), Rohit (65kg), Vishal Kaliraman (70kg), Sandeep Singh Mann (74kg), Narsingh Yadav (74kg), Jitender (74kg), Rahul Rathi (79kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Parveen Chahar (86kg), Praveen (92kg), Satywart Kadian (97kg), Sumit (125kg)
Greco Roman: Arjun Halakurki (55kg), Manish (60kg), Neeraj (63kg), Gaurav Duhoon (67kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg) , Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Deepanshu (97kg), Naveen (130kg)
Women: Meenakshi (50kg), Vinesh (53kg), Nandini Bajirao Salokhe (53kg), Anshu (57kg), Sarita (59kg), Sonam (62kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Nisha (65kg), Anita (68kg), Kiran (76kg).