Asian Games: Trouble brewing over wrestling body’s exemption to Sushil Kumar & Co.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will take a final call this weekend on national selection trials in three weight categories---men’s 74kg and 65kg and women’s 50kg—for the Asian Games in Jakarta.
The federation is expected to exempt wrestlers in the aforementioned categories from the trials.
This decision may not go down well with some grapplers in the camp as it is expected to benefit India’s two-time Olympics medallist Sushil Kumar (74kg).
Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Vinesh Phogat (50kg) are the other two wrestlers to be excluded from trials. There is speculation that Sakshi Malik (62kg) will also be exempted.
The WFI generally conducts trials to select national squad for Commonwealth Games or Asian Games. Only in the case of Olympics, grapplers winning quota places represent the country.
Chief national coach in men’s freestyle, Jagminder Singh, is silent on the ‘change in WFI policy’.
Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary, says a final decision will be taken this week. “As of now, the federation plans to exempt 3-4 wrestlers from next month’s trials. However, an official announcement will be made at the end of this week,” he said.
As per the tentative schedule, men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman trials are slated for June 17 at Sonepat (Haryana), while trials for women’s freestyle will be held at Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) on June 10.
At the Asian Games starting August 18, men’s freestyle bouts will be held in six weight categories--- 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg and 125kg, while the women’s competition will be conducted in 50kg, 53kg, 57kg, 62kg, 68kg and 76kg. The Greco-Roman event comprises 60kg, 67kg, 77kg, 87kg, 97kg and 130kg weight categories.