WFI likely to withdraw Wrestling Trails, Quota winners to board flight to Paris

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WFI

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has made a significant decision regarding the upcoming Paris Olympics in 2024. WFI president Sanjay Singh confirmed that no trials will be held for the Olympic-bound wrestlers who have secured quota spots. Instead, the quota winners will directly represent India at the Summer Games.

WFI reversed its stance after Wrestlers’ plea

Traditionally, the WFI had a policy of conducting trials to determine the final team for the Olympics. However, this policy was changed in 2021 under Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The new approach aimed to ensure that the country sends its best-performing wrestlers to the Olympics.

Despite the recent policy change, the WFI has now decided to reverse its stance. The decision comes after some of the quota winners expressed concerns about holding trials so close to the Olympics, which are scheduled to begin on July 26, 2024. Wrestlers who have already secured their quota spots will not have to go through additional trials.

“Please let us compete in Paris, we need mental peace before the Olympics” Anshu Malik plea to WFI

WFI president Sanjay Singh emphasized that this decision will benefit the quota winners. By eliminating trials, the wrestlers can focus solely on their Olympic preparation without additional stress. The federation plans to provide them with the best training facilities abroad, in consultation with coaches.

Indian Wrestlers for the Paris Olympics:

Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Antim Panghal (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg), Reetika Hooda (76kg), and Aman Sehrawat (57kg) are the other quota winners. All six quotas have been secured in the freestyle category.

The decision means there will be no trial between Vinesh Phogat and Antim Panghal for the 53kg category. While the 53kg category is Vinesh’s favourite class, Antim won the quota with a World Championship bronze last year. Vinesh, later, secured the 50kg quota at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, by cutting down weight.

The exemption from trials also affected other wrestlers who were preparing for trials. Notably, Tokyo Games silver medalist Ravi Dahiya (men’s 57kg) and World Championship bronze winner Sarita Mor (women’s 57kg) will not get a chance to compete in trials. Vinesh Phogat, too, will now focus solely on the women’s 50kg event.

In summary, the WFI’s decision to skip trials for quota winners aims to streamline the Olympic preparation process and ensure that India sends its best wrestlers to the Paris Olympics. The focus now shifts to rigorous training and performance on the global stage.

Also Read: As a result of Parveen Hooda’s Suspension, India Loses an Asian Bronze Medal