The WFI (World Wrestling Federation) has organised a month-long training camp for the Tokyo-bound wrestlers in Warsaw, Poland, starting from the upcoming week. Eight grapplers, including four men and four women from India have qualified for the 2021 Olympics, which begins on July 23.
By the second week of April, the SAI (Sports Authority of India) had suspended both the men’s and women’s training camps in Sonepat and Lucknow respectively, owing to the deadly second COVID-19 wave in the country. The WFI (Wrestling Federation of India) then sent a fresh proposal to the authorities to conduct camps for the Tokyo-bound grapplers, but the offer was rejected.
“We recently sent a fresh proposal to the SAI for the conduct of the camps for those who have qualified for the Olympics, but it was not approved due to the prevailing pandemic,” said WFI assistant secretary, Vinod Tomar.
With less than two months left for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics to begin, the WFI has decided to send the core group of Indian wrestlers to Warsaw, in Poland, next week for a month-long training-cum-exposure. The Indian wrestlers would also feature in the World Ranking Series in Warsaw, from June 8 to 13.
“We are working on the European exposure tour for the core group of wrestlers. The Indian team will also compete in the World Ranking Series in Warsaw from June 8 to 13. Hopefully, the team would leave next week. After the ranking series, the Indian team will also attend a coaching camp in Poland. The Indian team would return in the first week of July,” added the official.
Eight Wrestlers – including Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg) and Sumit Malik (125kg) in the men’s section and Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Seema Bisla (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (63kg) in the women's section have made the Tokyo cut. Bajrang Punia is training in Russia in the build-up to the Olympics and would not take part in the Polish World Ranking Series.
The seven other wrestlers would all feature in the upcoming competition ahead of the Olympics. Meanwhile, Vinesh Phogat will be training in Hungary as part of his preparations and would only visit Poland for the ranking series. Seema Bisla, Anshu Malik and Sonam Malik have decided to train with their personal trainers in India.