Wrestling Federation of India mulls Europe trip for Olympics-bound wrestlers

​The wrestlers will now train in Poland, Hungary and Turkey apart from competing in two international events before the Tokyo Olympics. 

Published: 16th May 2021 10:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2021 10:28 AM   |  A+A-

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Hard quarantine norms forced Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to cancel a proposed national camp for eight Olympic-bound wrestlers at SAI centre in Sonepat, Haryana. 

​The wrestlers will now train in Poland, Hungary and Turkey apart from competing in two international events before the Tokyo Olympics. 

As many as eight wrestlers (four men in freestyle and as many women) have qualified for the Games. They were supposed to assemble in Sonepat on Tuesday. However, the restrictions at the centre meant the wrestlers could not resume training before serving a 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

“We have submitted the plan for training-cum-competition in Poland, Hungary and Turkey. All the wrestlers will go there with their respective sparring partners,” one of the coaches, who is expected to accompany the team, told The New Indian Express. 

Polish capital Warsaw will host the ranking series from June 8 to 13. The event will help Indian wrestlers earn ranking points and improve their seedings, which in turn will give them a favourable draw at the Olympics.

“We will stay in Poland for a training camp and the ranking series before spending around a week in Hungary. The team will then head for Istanbul, Turkey, where it will compete in Yasar Dogu international meet slated to be held from June 25-27,” added the coach. 

The team will return to the country before flying out to Japan for the Games. Vinesh Phogat (53kg), who is training abroad with her foreign coach Woller Akos, will join the team in Poland.

Bajrang Punia (65kg), Ravi Dahiya (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) will be accompanied by their respective foreign coaches. All the wrestlers barring Sumit Malik (125kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) look ready for the trip at the moment. 

The two of them are recovering from their respective knee injuries sustained during the recently held international tournaments. However, the WFI looks optimistic of their participation. 

“It will take about 10 more days to make all the arrangements, so hopefully they can recover from injuries and be part of the trip,” Vinod Tomar, WFI’s assistant secretary, was quoted as saying by PTI.


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