Indians to experience new format in Asian championships

Till 2017, the wrestlers used to weigh-in on the day before their competition and finish all the bouts in one day.

According to internationally-acclaimed coach Yashvir Singh (left) the new format will reduce the load on the wrestlers. (File Photo)   -  K. Pichumani

The Indian wrestlers will get exposed to the new 'same day weigh-in and same day competition' format when they participate in the Asian championships to be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from February 27.

The United World wrestling, the world governing body for the sport, announced the change in format and weight categories in March last year and applied the changes from January 1 this year. Accordingly, the wrestlers will weigh-in on the morning of their competition with a two kg allowance for the next day (when they will fight the semifinals and finals).

However, the Asian championships at Bishkek will be an exception. Even though the weigh-in will happen in the morning, the competition in a weight category will be completed on the same day. Till 2017, the wrestlers used to weigh-in on the day before their competition and finish all the bouts in one day.

According to internationally-acclaimed coach Yashvir Singh the originally proposed two-day format will reduce the load on the wrestlers. “Since the competition is now split into two days, a wrestler does not have to fight five-six bouts in one day. The load is much lesser now and the fatigue will be less,” said Yashvir.

Yashvir, also a Dronacharya awardee, says the format and the new weight classes will make the wrestlers switch to new weights. “It is difficult to reduce weight drastically and land on the mat the same day as there is no time for recovery. Those who used to reduce four-five kg a day before the competition would now settle for weights closer to their own body weights. However, this will have no impact on those whose body weight stays around their weight categories.”

International wrestler-turned-coach Kripa Shankar Patel Bishnoi pointed out that several wrestlers had already moved to new weights because of the new format. “Earlier, one used to have 15-16 hours in hand. So, wrestlers took glucose, supplements etc to regain weight.

“Now, they will fight in their genuine weights without going through a strenuous process,” said Bishnoi, an Arjuna award winner.

Coming back to the Asian championships, which will be used as a preparatory event for some wrestlers, this will be the first such edition which will have 10 categories (instead of eight) each in Greco Roman, freestyle and women styles. In the previous edition in New Delhi, India had bagged nine medals out of 96 on offer.