WFI to hold fresh trials before Asian and World qualifying tournaments

The WFI was mulling this move in the wake of postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the subsequent cancellation of qualifying tournaments.

WFI said a decision on fresh trials will be taken once the schedule is out for these events (Representative Image).

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) may hold fresh trials to complete the selection process before the start of Asian and World qualifying tournaments, said its secretary V.N. Prasood here on Monday.

The WFI was mulling this move in the wake of postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the subsequent cancellation of qualifying tournaments due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Prasood said the federation will either conduct fresh trials or may advance the 2020 National championships to complete the selection process before the start of the qualifying Asian and World tournaments.

However, he added that the final decision will be taken after the United World Wrestling (UWW) releases a fresh schedule for these events.

Plans upset

“Right now everything is in a flux. The postponement of Tokyo Olympics to next year has upset our plans. Our policy is to select the best and deserving wrestlers. But we want to make sure everyone is given a chance. We may conduct fresh trials in all events and if that is not acceptable by the wrestlers, we may even hold the National championships a little earlier this year.

“But our schedule will depend on the international calendar. We have to see if UWW will hold the World championships before the qualifying events. Normally UWW doesn't include Olympic events in world meets held in the Olympic year. But it is a different scenario now, so we have to wait and watch,” said Prasood.

Four Indians — Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg) and Vignesh Phogat (53kg) — had qualified for the freestyle events for the 2020 Olympics after winning medals in the 2019 World championships.

Prasood is hopeful that more Indians will make it to the Games from the qualifying events.

End of the ban

The postponement of the Olympics has come as a blessing for Commonwealth Games gold medallist Narsingh Yadav, who will complete his four-year ban this July.

Prasood added WFI has kept its doors open for Narsingh. “His ban will be over in July and there are no obstacles in front of him to return back to competition. If he is in good shape he can compete and win back his place in the team for Olympics.”

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