WFI names unchanged wrestling squad for Olympic Qualifiers in Istanbul

WFI source said it was forced to shelve the idea of conducting fresh trials due to "very limited time"

Representative image of Olympic flag (Photo:
Representative image of Olympic flag (Photo:


The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has named almost the same squad that competed in the Asian Qualifiers in Bishkek for the final Olympic qualifying tournament in Istanbul next month due to paucity of time to conduct fresh trials.

The squad for the World Olympic Games Qualifiers (WOGQ) in Istanbul from May 9-13 will remain the same, except leaving out three wrestlers -- 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and U23 world champion Reetika (76kg) -- as they had sealed quota places in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, last month.

It is learnt that the WFI was unhappy with the poor show by the Indian men's team in Bishkek and was planning to conduct fresh trials to select the team for the final Olympic qualifying event.

But a WFI source said due to "very limited time" between the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Bishkek and the Istanbul event, it was forced to shelve the idea to conduct fresh trials.

The source said that even if the federation had a one-month time between the Asian event and the upcoming WOQG in Istanbul, it would have conducted fresh trials for the final Paris Games qualifiers.

"There was hardly any time to hold fresh trials. So it was decided to send the same entries for WOQG," said the source, adding, "it would have been very difficult for wrestlers to lose weight twice within a short span of time to compete in their respective weight categories.

"First they had to lose weigh for the trials and then again for competition; it takes a lot of energy and effort to do that (lose weight)," the source said.

Indian grapplers stand a good chace of clinching a few more Paris Games berths in Istanbul as 54 Olympic quota places in each of the six weight classes of the three wrestling styles are up for grabs.

"Every weight category offers three Paris Olympic spots -- one each to the two finalists and one to the winner of the playoff between the two bronze medallists," said United World Wrestling (UWW) in a statement on Monday.

"Greco-Roman will kick off the competition on May 9 followed by women's wrestling and freestyle finishing it on May 13," the UWW statement added.

Indian squad:

Freestyle: Aman (57kg), Sujeet (65kg), Jaideep (74kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Deepak (97kg), Sumit (125kg).

Greco-Roman: Sumit (60kg), Ashu (67kg), Vikas (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Nitesh (97kg), Naveen (130kg).

Women's wrestling: Mansi (62kg), Nisha (68kg).

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