India's Olympic-bound wrestling team to leave for month-long Poland training camp on June 5

Eight freestyle wrestlers - four men and as many women - have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, which will begin on July 23.

The Indian grapplers will compete in the Poland Open, to be held in Warsaw from June 8-13, which is the last Ranking Series event ahead of the Olympics.

India’s Tokyo Olympics-bound freestyle wrestling contingent will leave for their training and exposure tour of Poland on June 5, said Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) assistant secretary Vinod Tomar. The Indian wrestlers will train for a whole month in Warsaw.

The wrestlers are currently training in their akhadas as the national camp in Sonepat was called off due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country. They will now assemble in New Delhi before the trip to Poland. The team was initially scheduled to train in Hungary and compete in the Yasar Dogu international tournament in Istanbul between June 25-27 as well, but those plans have been tweaked keeping in mind the travel restrictions and visa clearance.

READ: Bajrang Punia to miss ranking tournament in Poland, opts for training in Russia

“The wrestlers will get their visas on June 4 and will leave for Poland the next day. The current plan is for them to train in Poland until July 5. We are also trying to explore the possibility of them having a camp in Romania after that,” Tomar told Sportstar on Wednesday. 

The Indian grapplers will compete in the Poland Open, to be held in Warsaw from June 8-13, which is the last Ranking Series event ahead of the Olympics. However, star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia (65kg) has opted to train in Russia and is likely to participate in the Ali Aliev Memorial tournament, where he won the gold in 2019. 

Sumit Malik (125kg), who sealed his ticket to Tokyo by bagging the silver medal at the Asian Championships in May, has recovered from a knee injury and has returned to the mat. Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg) will also be in action and even though Deepak Punia’s (86kg) name does not feature in the list of entrants, the WFI has insisted it was an error and that he will compete.

READ: WFI may not renew contracts of Sushil and Pooja Dhanda

Only two women -- Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and Anshu Malik (57kg) -- will participate in the competition. Vinesh will fly from Hungary to participate in the Poland Open and will then return to her training base in Budapest till July 2. Seema Bisla (50kg) and Sonam Mallik (62kg) will skip the tour owing to injuries.

Eight freestyle wrestlers - four men and as many women - have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, which will begin on July 23.

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