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Wrestling

Junior Wrestlers reach IOA office to oppose Asian Games trials exemption

Wrestlers reached IOA headquarters opposing the direct entry given to Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia for Asian Games.

Junior Wrestlers reach IOA office to oppose Asian Games trials exemption
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Indian Olympic Association

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 July 2023 5:36 AM GMT

Junior wrestlers along with their parents and coaches reached the IOA headquarters opposing the exemption given to Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia from Asian Games trials on Thursday.

This comes one day after a protest was staged in Hisar, Haryana and Antim Panghal, Sujeet, and other wrestlers took to social media to express their anger over the decision.

Close to 100 people including family members of the wrestlers, wanted to meet with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha and ad-hoc committee chief Bhupender Singh Bajwa.

Around 150 people, including family members of the wrestlers, are seeking a meeting with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President P T Usha and ad-hoc panel chief Bhupender Singh Bajwa.

The reigning U-20 world champion Panghal and U-23 Asian champion Sujeet Kalkal had slammed the ad-hoc committee's decision as unjust and unfair. It asserted that they are capable of beating Bajrang and Vinesh if they are pitted against them in the trials.

The duo was, however, not present at the IOA Bhawan.

Led by Bajwa, the IOA ad-hoc panel, on Tuesday announced the criteria, saying trials will be held in all categories but they have already selected the wrestlers in men's freestyle 65kg and women's 53kg weight class.

Antim and Sujeet also moved to the Delhi High Court and filed a petition against the move.

In a tweet, World Championships and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Anshu Malik, part of the wrestlers' protest at Jantar Mantar in January, expressed her support for the junior grapplers.

"An athlete's biggest dream is to win medals at events such as the Olympics and Asian Games and make all the countrymen proud but what if the rights of those players are snatched," Anshu, who competes in the women's 57kg category, tweeted.

"The demand for trials by junior players is correct and it is their right. I support the demand by the junior players," she wrote in another tweet.


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