Indian wrestlers finally leave for Olympic qualifier in Bulgaria

After 48 hours of uncertainty, the World Olympic Games Qualifier-bound Indian wrestlers boarded a flight to Sofia, Bulgaria, late on Thursday night.

Wrestling Mat

India has selected three wrestlers each in men and women freestyle categories and six in Greco Roman weights for the qualifying event. (Representative Image).   -  Getty Images

After 48 hours of uncertainty, the World Olympic Games Qualifier-bound Indian wrestlers boarded a flight to Sofia, Bulgaria, late on Thursday night.

A 12-member Indian wrestling team was supposed to travel to Sofia, via Amsterdam, to take part in the last qualifying event, scheduled to be held from May 6 to 9.

According to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, the concerned airlines cancelled the tickets as the Netherlands Government, following a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in India, imposed a ban on Indians flying out of their country.

“Our president (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) approached the Ministry of External Affairs. Following negotiations with the Dutch and French embassies, both countries relaxed travel formalities for the Indian wrestlers on a priority basis. Finally, we booked the tickets on a flight via Paris and our wrestlers boarded the flight on Thursday night,” said Tomar.

India has selected three wrestlers each in men and women freestyle categories and six in Greco Roman weights for the qualifying event.