Sakshi Malik among 25 wrestlers barred from WFI camp

In a tough posture, the WFI also barred wrestlers who were scheduled to take part in the trials for the World Championships in the non-Olympic categories.
File image of Sakshi Malik.(Getty Images)
File image of Sakshi Malik.(Getty Images)
Updated on Aug 17, 2019 11:52 PM IST
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Lucknow/Delhi | BySharad Deep & Avishek Roy

Rio Olympic Games bronze medallist Sakshi Malik is among 25 women wrestlers who have been barred by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) from attending the national camp for repeatedly missing the camp without seeking exemption.

In a tough posture, the WFI also barred wrestlers who were scheduled to take part in the trials for the World Championships in the non-Olympic categories. Sakshi (62kg), along with Seema Bisla (50kg) and Kiran Godara (76kg) have already qualified for the World Championships in Olympic categories whose trials were held on July 28. The world meet is scheduled in Kazakhstan from September 14-22 and is the first qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

While their participation in the World Championships is not under threat, they will have to respond to the show-cause notice. “We can’t change the team at this moment because the trials for the Olympic categories have taken place, but they will have to present a strong case for missing national camps and only then they will be allowed. The wrestlers have been warned in the past too but still they continued to miss national camps,” said WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

The trials in the four non-Olympic categories (55kg, 59kg, 65kg and 72kg) are to be held on Monday and there are seven wrestlers in these weight categories who have been barred. “The president has said that even if we send our No 4 or No 5 wrestlers it is okay, but we cannot tolerate indiscipline.” Said Tomar.

The team was supposed to assemble on August 16 after the Alexandre Medved event in Minsk, Belarus where Indian women bagged four silver and three bronze medals. Sakshi and Kiran won bronze while Pinki (55kg), who has also been barred, won silver. However, when attendance was taken only 13 of the 45 national campers were present. “Those who had taken exemption from the camp were not barred. We asked our chief coach and he too had no clue about the missing wrestlers,” said Tomar.

Tomar said the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had become very strict and it had noted down the names of absentees from the camp. “We had to take action because SAI had been asking us why the wrestlers were not present.”

The WFI, on its official Facebook account, has published the list of defaulter wrestlers, including Sakshi, who along with Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat also competed in the Poland Open in Warsaw earlier this month. Sakshi’s husband, Satyawart Kadian said she was on her way to the national camp. “She came home for Raksha Bandhan. She is on her way back to the national camp,” said Kadian, adding, “Sakshi has informed the WFI about the reason for her absence.”

This is not the first time women wrestlers have skipped the national camp without informing the federation or SAI. In 2018, ahead of the Asian Games camp in Lucknow, many wrestlers were absent. Sakshi was away due to injury, while the Phogat sisters — Geeta, Babita, Ritu and Sangeeta — left without informing. The chief coach had then reported the matter to the federation.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021