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Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik put in Grade-A as WFI corrects “mistake”

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Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik put in Grade-A as WFI corrects “mistake”

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SportsCafe Desk


Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik, who were earlier put in the Grade-B of the annual WFI contract, have been moved to the Grade-A citing that it was a mistake which has now been corrected. Earlier both the wrestlers were put in a lower Grade-B category likely due to their poor recent form.

After allotting Grade-B contracts to two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and India’s first woman wrestler to bag an Olympic medal Sakshi Malik, the Wrestling Federation of India(WFI) overturned its decision and put both the aforementioned players in the Grade-A. The federation also explained that it was a “mistake” on their part to put both the players in a lower grade contract which they have corrected.

“Sushil has won two Olympic medals, while Sakshi opened India’s medal account in Rio. It was a mistake on our part that they were kept in Grade B and today we are correcting that mistake,” WFI president Brijbhushan Saran Singh said said.

Apart from the olympic medallists three more players in Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Pooja Dhanda have been alloted the Grade-A contract. In fact these three were directly put in the Grade-A on the basis of their performance before Sushil and Malik were included.

It has also been learnt that the categorisation of grades has been done in five segments for seniors, which include slabs of Rs 30 lakh, Rs 20 lakh, Rs 15 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh keeping a wrestler's recent form and his/her future medal chances.

Tata Motors, which is the principal sponsor for WFI, announced additional support to the Indian wrestlers for their preparation to bag a medal at the Tokyo and Paris Olympics. The Elite Wrestlers Development Program will include funding for elite foreign coaches, funding to engage support staff like trainers, masseurs, overseas exposure trips for 50 days and beyond in a year and insurance protection against injury.

“The programme will appoint top-class foreign coaches for both men and women and organise premier exposure trips for elite Indian wrestlers,” said Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles Business Unit president Girish Wagh.

WFI sources said the freestyle coaches have almost been finalised. Two Iranians are in contention for the men’s team coach role, while a former Olympic champion from the USA is in fray for the women’s squad coach job.

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