CHENNAI: Unlike the past, the women wrestlers will train at IG Stadium in New Delhi instead of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, ahead of the World Championships scheduled in Oslo, Norway from October 2 to 10. The men wrestlers (freestyle and Greco-Roman), however, will camp at SAI centre in Sonepat as usual.
The wrestlers, who were selected for the event during selection trials held on August 31, along with their coaches and other support staff have been asked to report to their respective venues on September 20. Interestingly, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has yet not cleared the names of the sparring partners.
"The dearth of time meant the federation decided to hold the women's camp at the IG Stadium instead of Lucknow's SAI centre. The Worlds is starting on October 2 so the wrestlers will get around 10 days to train before leaving in batches," a WFI source told this daily.
India will be without known faces such Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and Vinesh Phogat in the championships. While the first two didn't take part in the trials, injured Vinesh forfeited her second bout to rule herself out. Besides, Sangeeta Phogat, Bajrang's wife, made a successful comeback to the national fold after three years by winning the 62kg final. "The training has been good so far. It's good that she will get some time in camp before competing at the event," said Bajrang on wife's preparations for the event.
Meanwhile, quite a few youngsters, who did well at the Junior World Championships last month, made it to the national squad by winning finals in their respective weight categories.
The Worlds will be the first major international event for the wrestlers after the Tokyo Olympics. Indian wrestlers had won two medals — Ravi's silver and Bajrang's bronze — at the Games.
Anshu taking exams
Anshu Malik, who represented India in 57kg at the Games, may not join the camp on September 20. Her father Dharamvir Malik said the Haryana grappler is appearing in BA Final examinations which could delay her joining. "A few papers are left. We may request the WFI to let her take examinations before joining the camp but she will compete in the Worlds," said the father.
As only one wrestler was present in four weight categories each (63kg & 82kg in GR, 92kg in freestyle and 76kg in women's wrestling) at the selection trials, the WFI had decided to hold trials in these divisions during the camp. However, the trials will not be held. Instead, the wrestlers who were present at the time of trials will be the part of the national team for the worlds. "We don't have time to conduct trials now. All those who were at the trials were named in the squad," signed off the source.