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Deepak Punia, Sujeet stuck in Dubai airport hours before their bouts

Ahead of the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Bishkek, Indian wrestlers Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalkal were stranded at Dubai airport due to floods.

Deepak Punia, Sujeet stuck in Dubai airport hours before their bouts

Sujeet Kalkal and Deepak Punia are stuck at the Dubai Airport a night before their bouts at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Bishkek.


Pritish Raj

Updated: 19 April 2024 8:11 AM GMT

Indian wrestlers Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalkal are stuck at the Dubai airport amid the ongoing flood situation in the UAE city. They are racing against time to make it to the Asian Wrestling qualifiers in Bishkek.

The unprecedented situation has put the duo's chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics from the event in jeopardy as their chances of reaching Bishkek on time are doubtful.

Per the latest Sports Authority of India post on social media, the wrestlers will be accommodated on the late-night flight to Bishkek. However, the situation doesn't look promising at all as the wrestlers are just hours away from weigh-in.

"Both wrestlers are practicing at the airport at the moment as they don't have any option. All the hotels in Dubai are full and they are stuck there for hours," said a coach, who didn't wish to be named to The Bridge.

When asked about the implications of this delay, the coach explained, "They were supposed to cut down their weight today before the tournament but now they are sleeping on the floor in the terminal and practicing there. We don't know how their body is at the moment."

Both Deepak and Sujeet are accompanied by their Russian coach Kamal Malikov and physio Shubham Gupta.

While other Indian wrestlers left directly from Delhi for Bishkek, Deepak and Sujeet were training in Dagestan, Russia. They took a flight to Bishkek from Makachkala via Dubai.

After taking the late-night flight, the wrestlers will reach Bishkek at 6 AM local time and the weigh-in for the tournament starts at 8 AM local time.

The situation worsened at Dubai airport as flight operations have severely been disrupted due to the heavy rains, which have battered the United Arab Emirates. According to the UAE government, the country received its highest rainfall in 75 years as up to 259.5 mm of rain fell on Tuesday.

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