Pooja, Navjot in World Championship squad in absence of opponents

Pooja Dhanda will compete in the 59kg, while Navjot Kaur will be India’s entry in the 65kg.

Pooja Dhanda (in yellow) is among a 10-member Indian squad for the World Championship.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Indian wrestlers Pooja Dhanda and Navjot Kaur, who failed to book berths in the World Championship squad for Olympic categories, made it to the non-Olympic divisions in the absence of competitions in the trials here on Monday.

The trials were held in four non-Olympic categories. Pooja will compete in the 59kg, while Navjot will be India’s entry in the 65kg.

There were no entries in their categories as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had barred 25 wrestlers, including seven in trials categories, from participating on grounds of indiscipline.

From 45 wrestlers, who are part of the National camp at SAI Centre in Lucknow, 25 left without informing the federation.

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Pooja had lost the 57kg trials to Sarita Mor and though she will not be able to book an Olympic berth in that category at the Worlds, she has a chance to add medal to the bronze she won last year.

Similarly for the Asian Championship gold medallist Navjot, it is a chance to add a Worlds medal in her kitty. She had lost to Divya Kakran in the 68kg trials.

Monday’s trials in four categories figured just two bouts.

In the three-wrestler 55kg draw, Lalita got a bye and then beat Meenakshi 9-1 in the final bout to qualify for the Worlds.

Meenakshi had outplayed Kiran 5-0 in her opening bout.

In the 72kg two-wrestler draw, Komal earned the ticket to World Championship with a close 3-2 win over Nikky.

The World Championship, scheduled to be held in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, from September 14-22, is the first Olympic qualifying event.

India’s women squad:

Seema Bisla (50kg)

Vinesh Phogat (53kg)

Lalita (55kg)

Sarita Mor (57kg)

Pooja Dhanda (59kg)

Sakshi Malik (62kg)

Navjot Kaur (65kg)

Divya Kakran (68kg)

Komal (72kg)

Kiran (76kg)

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