CHENNAI: Four Olympic-bound Indian wrestlers, currently in Warsaw for the Poland Open, may part ways after the ongoing ranking series. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is trying to send men wrestlers (Ravi Dahiya, 57kg and Deepak Punia, 86kg) to Russia. The women wrestlers will continue to camp in the country till June 20. They may head for Hungary and then Estonia if the federation manages to has its way.
“We are trying to procure visas for Russia for our male grapplers. They will head directly to the country if we manage to get visas, otherwise they will return to India after the Poland Open,” a WFI source said.
Incidentally, ace wrestler Bajrang Punia decided to skip the event and train in Russia. Ravi and Deepak may join the 65kg wrestler there. Anshu Malik (57kg) and Vinesh Phogat (53kg), however, will continue to train in Poland before departing for Hungary. “After Poland, the women wrestlers may train in Hungary and then in Estonia,” added the source.
Covid scare for Anshu
Anshu was forced to withdraw from the Poland Open on Friday as she had a fever. She reported for weigh-in in the morning but was advised to withdraw because of high temperature. “She was feeling feverish for the past two days. She wanted to compete as it will give her a chance to compete with Olympic-bound wrestlers from other countries but was advised against it,” said father Dharamvir Malik.
A source in the Indian camp also allayed the fears of Covid and said, “It’s just a fever. She will be alright in a couple of days and resume training.” Meanwhile, Vinesh won the 53kg gold beating Ukraine’s Khrystyna Bereza 8-0 in the final. She defeated 2019 Worlds bronze medallist Ekaterina Poleshchuk of Russia 6-2 before pinning down American grappler Amy Ann Fearnside 6-0.
Foreign coach sacked
Meanwhile, the Sports Authority of India on Friday relieved foreign coach Temo Kazarashvili of his duties after no Indian Greco-Roman grappler secured Olympic an quota. The Georgian coach was hired in February 2019 till the Tokyo Games.