Four Olympic wrestling quota winners ask federation to not hold trials - Hindustan Times

Four Olympic wrestling quota winners ask federation to not hold trials

ByAvishek Roy
May 20, 2024 08:38 PM IST

WFI’s selection committee is expected to meet on Tuesday to take a decision on trials.

Four of the six wrestlers who have won quota berths for the Paris Olympics have written to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) asking not to hold selection trials as the Games were close and it would affect their preparation.

Indian wrestler Aman Sehrawat
Indian wrestler Aman Sehrawat

WFI, it is learnt, has called a selection committee meeting on Tuesday to take a call on the trials.

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Aman Sehrawat (57kg), Reetika Hooda (76kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg) and Anshu Malik (57kg) have sent individual e-mails to WFI to consider their selection for Paris without trials. The other two wrestlers who won Paris quota spots are two-time former world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat (50kg) and world championships bronze medallist Antim Panghal (53kg).

Only Antim won the quota last year, while three wrestlers bagged the spots at the Asian qualifiers in Bishkek last month. Aman and Nisha won the berths at the World Olympic qualifiers in Istanbul last week.

Wrestling competitions in Paris will be held from August 5-11.

“It leaves us with just 10 weeks of preparation time before the event, which is already less considering the timelines. Every single day of training is very important for me. Around this crucial time, preparing for another competition again affects my training plan, my diet, weight maintenance and I will lose out on a lot of practice sessions because of this.

“If you consider our health, fitness during this crucial time, allow us to focus on the Paris Olympics so that we make our nation proud with the best possible outcomes,” the letter written by one of the wrestlers said.

One wrestler said they don't want to risk injuries at this point. “It is too close to the Paris Olympics. If trials are held, all our focus will be on that instead of preparation towards Paris,” the wrestler said.

Last week, Vinesh asked WFI to announce the date and format of the trials.

“Despite being just under three months away from the Paris Olympics, the Wrestling Federation of India has yet to announce an official trials format, including the date, time, venue. It is to be noted that all other federations have announced the qualification pathway and trials process with a clear format way back in December 2023 or latest January 2024,” she said in a message on X.

If the trials are not held, Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Dahiya will not get a second chance to stake a claim in 57kg.

A selection committee member said the wrestlers have raised some important points and everything will be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. “There is no doubt the Paris Olympics are very close and you want the wrestlers to completely focus on preparation at this point. The selection committee will look into every aspect," said the member, who did not wish to be identified.

India have won at least one wrestling medal in the last four Olympics. In all, the country’s wrestlers have won seven medals.

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