CHENNAI: The postponement of the 2022 Asian Games in May was a big relief for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) but the announcement of new dates on Tuesday once again posed a similar problem before it. The Asiad, as per the new schedule, will be clashing with the World Championships as was the case when it was scheduled to be held from September 10-25 this year.
As per the announcement made by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the showpiece continental event will be held from September 23 to October 8 next year.
"The Task Force over the last two months held various discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee, Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) and other stakeholders to find a window for the Games which did not conflict with other major international sporting events," the OCA said in a statement. "The recommended dates by the Task Force were duly approved by the OCA EB," the OCA statement added.
According to the United World Wrestling (UWW) calendar, the Worlds is scheduled from September 16 to 24 next year in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
"The problem has resurfaced and we will inform the world body (UWW) of the issue and request it to take up the matter with the authorities concerned at the OCA. The event (Worlds) is more than a year away and there is always a chance of rescheduling it," Vinod Tomar, WFI assistant secretary, told this daily.
Earlier in April this year, the WFI along with many Asian countries had decided to send second-choice teams for the Worlds as the tournament was clashing with the Asiad.
As far as the WFI was concerned, it decided to select two teams giving priority to the 2022 Commonwealth and Asian Games.
The gold medallists from the selection trials would have represented the country at the 2022 CWG and Asiad while the silver medallists would have competed at the Worlds had the Hangzhou event not been deferred.
However, this year the problem will be bigger as Worlds will also serve as a qualifier for the 2024 Olympics. Given the situation, the federation cannot send a second-string team to the event.
As things stand, there is a great possibility of the UWW rescheduling the Worlds to ensure Asian countries send their strongest possible teams for the event.
Meanwhile, the Indian wrestling contingent is expected to leave for Birmingham on August 1. The wrestling competitions at the CWG are scheduled to be held on August 5 and 6.