Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat will get direct entry in Asian Games. He is exempted from the selection trial. However, Sakshi Malik has not got any such exemption.
Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat will get direct entry in Asian Games. He is exempted from the selection trial. However, Sakshi Malik has not got any such exemption. The ad hoc committee of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has given this information. Also said that it will conduct selection trials in all categories, but the winners of men’s freestyle 65kg and women’s 53kg categories will be kept as standby. The trio of Bajrang, Vinesh and Sakshi were the main faces of the wrestlers’ sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar against outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The last time the Asian Games were held in Jakarta in 2018. As per the Wrestling Federation of India’s selection policy, only those who have won medals in the World Championships or Olympics in the current cycle (from the last Asian Games till now) can be exempted from trials. Sakshi Malik could neither win any medal in the World Championship nor in the Olympic Games during this period. At the same time, Bajrang Punia won the bronze medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, while Vinesh Phogat was successful in winning the bronze medal in the 2022 World Championships.
The decision was taken without the consent of the national head coaches
The ad-hoc committee has taken the decision to give direct entry to Bajrang and Vinesh in the Asian Games without the consent of the national head coaches. In such a situation, uproar is certain. It said in a circular that it has already selected wrestlers in men’s freestyle 65kg and women’s 53kg, but trials will be held in all the six weight categories in all the three categories.
Bajrang and Vinesh are not named in the circular
The ad-hoc committee did not name Bajrang and Vinesh in the circular, but committee member Ashok Garg confirmed to PTI that both the wrestlers have been exempted from trial. The Indian Olympic Association’s ad hoc committee took the decision just four days ahead of the trials to select the wrestling team for the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China on September 23. The Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle trials are scheduled for July 22, while the men’s freestyle trials will be held on July 23 at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.