Ravi Dahiya, Deepak Punia among four wrestlers to withdraw from Rome Ranking Series

The duo had already booked an Olympic quota by winning a medal each in the 2019 World Championships.
Deepak Punia. (Photo | PTI)
Deepak Punia. (Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI: As many as four Indian wrestlers named in the Indian squad for the Rome Ranking Series have pulled out of the event due to various reasons. The team, now comprising 30 wrestlers, is scheduled to depart on Wednesday morning.

The event is from March 4 to 7 in Ostia, Rome. Ravi Dahiya, who won 61kg gold in the 2020 edition, has decided to skip the event due to a knee injury sustained in the national camp. Similarly, Deepak Punia (86kg) has withdrawn citing illness.

The duo had already booked an Olympic quota by winning a medal each in the 2019 World Championships.

Besides, Sonam Malik (62kg) and Jitender Kinha (74kg) will also miss the series due to injuries.

"Four wrestlers will not travel with the team as they have ruled themselves out of the event," Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of Wrestling Federation of India, told this daily. The federation announced a 34-member team including ace wrestlers Bajrang Punia (64kg) and Vinesh Phogat (53kg) for the event last week. Multiple entries were sent in a few weight categories by the WFI.

"Ravi, Jitender and Sonam sustained injuries while Deepak informed that he is unwell," added Tomar. "Ravi injured his right knee in the camp. He is fine now but needs more time to recover fully," said coach Satpal Singh of Chhatrasal Stadium.

Singh, whose famous ward is two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, also confirmed Deepak's illness. Both Ravi and Deepak also train at Chhatrasal Stadium under Singh's tutelage. Meanwhile, Jitender, who was named in the 74kg along with Sandeep Singh Mann and Narsingh Yadav, too is nursing a shoulder injury and has ruled himself out of the tournament.

Sonam sustains head injury Sonam Malik, who defeated Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik in the nationals to find a place in the team, was forced to withdraw after sustaining a head injury in the camp. She was training with Sakshi when she sustained the injury.

"It happened last week while training with Sakshi. She needed four stitches and we decided to skip the Rome event as selection trials are scheduled for the Asian Olympic qualifier after it," informed Sonam's father Rajender. Sonam has left the national camp in Lucknow soon after sustaining the injury. 

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