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Wrestling

Wrestling trials for Olympics scheduled for June 10, Vinesh faces category dilemma

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Sanjay Singh disclosed plans for selection trials on June 10.

Wrestling trials for Olympics scheduled for June 10, Vinesh faces category dilemma
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Vinesh Phogat is an Asian Games gold medal-winning wrestler. (FILE PHOTO: WFI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 13 May 2024 4:23 PM GMT

India's hopes for a robust wrestling contingent at the Paris Olympics received a mixed bag of results at the recent World Olympic Qualifier in Istanbul. While five women and one male competitor secured quota spots, the final lineup remains uncertain pending selection trials.

In response to the need for clarity regarding the final Paris squad, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Sanjay Singh told The Hindustan Times that selection trials will be conducted on June 10.

“Selection trials will be held on June 10. It will be in the format as given in our policy where a challenger will be selected from the top four eligible wrestlers and there will be three bouts with the quota winner. The quota winner will have to win once while he gets two opportunities if he loses to the challenger," he told Hindustan Times.

The format, as per WFI policy, will involve a challenger selected from the top four eligible wrestlers competing against the quota winner in a series of three bouts. The quota winner must secure victory once, while the challenger will have two opportunities if they initially falter.

After Aman Sehrawat clinched a spot in the men's freestyle 57kg category, Indian aspirations for additional male wrestlers were dashed as Sujeet Kalkal (65kg) and Jaideep Ahlawat (74kg) fell short in the repechage rounds.

The absence of more male qualifiers dims the prospects for Indian wrestling in Paris, particularly for stalwart Bajrang Punia, whose journey to the Olympics now faces an uncertain fate. Ravi Dahiya, however, retains hope for a podium finish in the 65kg category.

Wrestling emerged as India's standout sport at the Tokyo Olympics, with Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia securing silver and bronze medals, respectively. Despite this success, the Indian wrestling scene has been marred by turmoil over the past year, marked by protests and disruptions to training schedules.

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