Five Indian judokas will participate in the Grand Slam 2020 competition – an International Judo Federation (IJF) event – scheduled to be held in Budapest, Hungary from October 23 to 26. The government will bear the cost of the six-member Indian team, comprising two women and three men players and a coach.
The team is set to leave for the competition on October 19. The judokas will have to produce at least two COVID-19 negative individual medical certificates (PCR test made maximum five days before arrival and taken 48 hours apart) upon arrival at Hungary.
The women's team includes 25-year-old Sushila Devi (48kg) from Manipur and 22-year-old Tulika Mann (78 kg) of Delhi. While the men's team comprises of former Olympian and 28-year-old Avtar Singh (100 kg), 22-year-old TOPS developmental group athlete Jasleen Singh Saini (66 kg) from Punjab and and 24-year-old Vijay Yadav (60 kg).
The five judokas will be accompanied by coach Jiwan Sharma for the length of the competition in Hungary. "My aim is to get a medal for India in the Olympics and I'm very confident to get this done because I have done a lot of hard work for this," Jasleen said in an official release. "I am also very thankful to the government for their support. Even if there is hard work from our side but no government support, we can do nothing," he added.
The players have been selected on the basis of the world ranking and have high chances of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics which has been postponed to next year in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also the best competitors in the Senior National Ranking Championships.
Among the women, Sushila is ranked the highest at 41 and has a total of 833 Olympic qualification points, while Jasleen is ranked the highest at 56 among the men and has 854 Olympic qualification points. Around 645 competitors from across 81 countries are slated to participate in the IJF event in Budapest, Hungary.