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Ad-hoc panel announces U-15, U-20 nationals after junior wrestlers protest

The IOA appointed ad-hoc panel has assured the junior wrestlers that U-15 and U-20 National Championships will be conducted within six weeks.

Ad-hoc panel announces U-15, U-20 nationals after junior wrestlers protest

U-23 World Wrestling Championships 2022 in Pontevedra, Spain (Source: United World Wrestling)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 Jan 2024 1:32 PM GMT

Taking cognizance of the protest by the junior wrestlers, the ad-hoc panel on Wednesday announced the organization of U-15 and U-20 National championships within six weeks.

More than 300 young wrestlers started a protest against the IOA-constituted committee at Jantar Mantar and asked for the restoration of the Sanjay Singh-led new Wrestling Federation of India body.

The panel "acknowledged the concerns" of the young wrestlers who have been hit hard by the year-long protests by top India grapplers. Wrestling activities in the country have been hit hard following protests by the country's top three grapplers -- Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat -- against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Neither the National camps nor the junior nationals have been held since January 2023. Hundreds of junior wrestlers lost one full year due to the stalemate.

Bhupender Singh Bajwa, chairman of the three-member panel, assured the junior wrestlers that he would soon organize the sub-junior and junior Nationals in Gwalior.

"The (ad-hoc) committee acknowledges the concerns raised by the young wrestlers (during the protest) and is committed to addressing the issues. The Committee is planning to organize the national championships for the U-15 and U-20 categories within the next six weeks at LNIPE, Gwalior," Bajwa said in a statement.

"The ad-hoc committee reaffirms its full commitment to the growth and development of wrestling in India, fostering a culture of excellence and perseverance. The young wrestlers are advised to continue training and practicing for these events," added the statement.

The ad-hoc panel was set up on December 27 after the ministry suspended the newly-elected body under Sanjay Singh.

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