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Deepak Punia, Sujeet not allowed to compete at Asian Olympic Qualifiers

Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalkal reached Bishkek this morning around 8 AM local time.

Deepak Punia Wrestler

Indian wrestler Deepak Punia


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 19 April 2024 5:27 AM GMT

Indian wrestlers Deepak Punia (86kg) and Sujeet Kalkal's search for 2024 Paris Olympics quota places met with a big blow as the duo were not allowed to compete at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers on Friday in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Sujeet (65kg) and Deepak, who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, were stranded at the Dubai International Airport since Tuesday after the desert city was flooded due to torrential rain.

According to the UAE government, the country recorded 259.5 mm of rainfall, the highest in 75 years.

Due to the rain and subsequent flood, 300 flights have been cancelled from Dubai.

Deepak and Sujeet reached Bishkek this morning around 8 AM local time.

However, the organisers did not allow them to participate in the competitions despite the wrestlers meeting the criteria of matching the requisite body weights.

As Deepak and Sujeet's chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics from the Asian Qualifiers are over now, they will have another chance at the World Qualifiers in May.

Although the other Indian wrestlers reached Bishkek on time from India, Deepak, and Sujeet were travelling to the central Asian country from Dagestan, Russia, where they were training from April 2 to 15.

The duo board a flight, booked by the WFI, from Makachkala to Bishkek via Dubai on April 16.

The men’s freestyle bouts will be taking place on Friday, with 57kg category wrestler Aman Sehrawat leading the Indian men's team in the absence of Deepak Punia.

Vinesh Phogat (50kg) and Anshu Malik (57kg) are among the big names in women's freestyle wrestling who will vie for quota places at this qualifying tournament.

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