File photo of wrestling.(File)
File photo of wrestling.(File)

Uncertainty ends for wrestlers, set to participate in World Qualifiers

  • India's wrestling contingent is finally set to travel to Sofia via Paris to participate in the World Olympic Qualifiers – the last qualifying tournament for Tokyo Olympics
PUBLISHED ON APR 29, 2021 10:48 PM IST

India's wrestling contingent is finally set to travel to Sofia via Paris to participate in the World Olympic Qualifiers – the last qualifying tournament for Tokyo Olympics – from May 6-9. Their participation was in doubt after many European countries imposed travel bans on Indians.

Their scheduled travel to Amsterdam was cancelled two days ago after the Netherlands shut its borders for Indians. The travel from Paris also looked uncertain as they needed a transit visa. However, the Wrestling Federation of India quickly swung into action reaching out to the Ministry of External Affairs and the Netherlands and France governments through the embassies.

“We have been trying out every means to see that we do not lose out on the last opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. We got a positive response from everyone,” said Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

As a result, the team got the go-ahead to travel to Amsterdam through Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM). It also got clearance to travel to Paris without a transit visa. WFI decided to send the team through Paris. While 11 members of the team left for Paris on Wednesday, the freestyle wrestlers are set to go tonight.

“They will take a flight to Paris from Mumbai and then board for Sofia," said WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

Indian wrestlers have qualified for six berths for the Tokyo Olympics so far. India are yet to qualify in Greco Roman (six categories), while three places each in men's and women’s freestyle will also be up for grabs.

The rowing team is also scheduled to leave for Tokyo tomorrow for the Asian and Oceania Continental Olympic Qualification Regatta from May 5.

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