Express News Service
CHENNAI: Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has announced the dates for selection trials to pick Indian teams for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth and Asian Games.
The trials for women wrestlers in six Olympic weight categories will be held on May 16 at SAI Training Center in Lucknow. The trials for men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers will be organized the next day at IG Stadium in New Delhi in six Olympic weight categories.
As reported by this daily, the WFI has proposed to send gold medallists of the trials for the CWG and Asiad while the silver medallists will represent the country in the World Championships.
The decision was taken as there is only a two-day gap between the Worlds (September 10-18) and Asiad (wrestling competitions to be held from September 21-24). The wrestling events at the CWG will be held on August 5 and 6 with only women and freestyle wrestlers competing in Birmingham.
“So far, the proposal is for gold medallists to represent the country in CWG and Asiad. If required, necessary changes would be made,” Vinod Tomar, WFI’s assistant secretary, told this daily.
The first-choice wrestlers are scheduled to have two-month competition-cum-exposure trips starting next month ahead of the two showpiece events.
Only medallists from the 2022 nationals and Senior Ranking Series will be allowed to compete in the trials proposed in senior categories.
No direct entry for elite grapplers
Unlike the trials for the recently concluded Asian Championships where elite freestyle wrestlers like Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) were given direct entries to the finals, the WFI has decided to hold more bouts for them this time.
The previous trials had invited criticism from various sections who argued that it was unfair on other wrestlers, who reached the finals after three-four bouts only to meet these champions.
While Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Ravi has been dominant in his weight category since the Games, bronze medalist from the same event Bajrang has been struggling due to injuries. Ravi clinched gold in the continental event while Bajrang settled for silver after losing the final to the U-19 Iranian opponent. Deepak also bagged silver in the event.
Trials for U-17 wrestlers
The federation will also hold selection trials for the U-17 Cadet wrestlers. The selected women wrestlers from all 10 weight categories will compete in the Asian Championships and Worlds. The trials for the women will be held simultaneously with senior women in Lucknow. The trials for the U-17 male wrestlers will be held on May 18 at IG Stadium, New Delhi.