Vinesh Phogat faces category dilemma as WFI announce Wrestling Trials for Paris Olympics

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Vinesh Phogat

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has announced that the wrestling trials for the upcoming Paris Olympics are scheduled for June 10. This announcement has put the spotlight on Vinesh Phogat, a renowned figure in the Indian wrestling community, who is facing a category dilemma.

Category Dileamma for Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat, a World Championship, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games medalist for India, has won a quota for the Paris Olympics in the 50kg weight category. However, she has also expressed her comfort in competing in the 53kg class. At the controversial selection trials in Patiala, Vinesh finished in the top four in 53kg while winning the trials in 50kg. She stated that she is more comfortable in the 53kg class.

WFI president Sanjay Singh clarified that Vinesh will have to pick one weight class for the trials. He stated, “We will go by the UWW (world body) rule which says a wrestler can compete in only one weight category. She has to choose between 50kg and 53kg; whichever weight she gives her weigh-in, she can compete in that.”

This decision puts Vinesh in a challenging position as she must decide between the 50kg and 53kg categories. Her choice will significantly impact her preparation for the Olympics and her potential performance at the event.

The wrestling trials will be held in the format as given in the WFI 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.

In addition to Vinesh, India has quotas through Antim Panghal (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg), and Reetika Hooda (75kg). The trials will decide the final line-up for the Paris Olympics.

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