The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has officially announced to push back the upcoming National Wrestling Championships to the month of January next year amid COVID-19 worries.
The National Wrestling Championships were originally scheduled from 18th to 20th December in the city of Gonda, Uttar Pradesh but will now face a postponement for at least a month, meaning the championships are now slated to be held in the closing days of January next year.
The situation is far from ideal: WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar
The current year has already seen numerous suspensions and postponements of various sports activities due to the prevalence of COVID-19 and the nationals are the latest to be impacted by the virus crisis.
“The situation is far from ideal. It is not possible to conduct Nationals. We will try to host the championships towards the end of January next year,” Vinod Tomar, the WFI Assistant Secretary told PTI.
“We have done that in the past too when circumstances dictated such a step,” Mr Tomar added.
In addition to the date shift, Mr Tomar hinted at a possible shift of the venue from UP as well, should other states exhibit a willingness to host the nationals in 2021, which will now see two national championships in the same year.
Moreover, despite postponing the December nationals, WFI is willing to fly the Indian wrestling team for the Individual World Cup, to be held from 12th to 18th December in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
Bajrang Punia (65kg), Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Jitender Kumar (74kg) and Sombir Rathi (92kg) all who partook in the Asian Championship in New Delhi back in February have been granted permission to enter the World Cup, which will have reward 4000 Swiss Francs for the gold medallist, followed by 3000 and 1500 Swiss Francs for the silver and bronze medallists, respectively.