After a series of deferments and uncertainty, Indian wrestlers are likely to regroup for the national camp next month, most likely in the first week of August. Actual training, however, will only begin after following quarantine and testing protocols.
The Sports Authority of India has been seeking feedback from the wrestlers for some time now, through the de-recognised Wrestling Federation of India, regarding the possibility of resuming camps that were called off mid-March due to COVID-19.
“They were earlier planned to start this month but the wrestlers are understandably concerned. Most of them are training at home only and have proper safety measures in place. Also, there will be a limited number of personnel and the wrestlers are not sure if it would make sense to be in the camp without sufficient training partners,” a senior WFI official explained.
“But now we have spoken to them again and most have said let this month get over and things can begin from August. A final decision by SAI may be taken by next week but we expect the camps to begin by the first week,” he said, adding that the absence of any competition in the near future meant the wrestlers could afford to wait.
The women’s camp will be held in Lucknow and the men’s in Sonepat in only limited weight categories initially – five each in men’s freestyle and women and three in Greco-Roman, all Olympic – with only two wrestlers per category. WFI said all the top names and those who have already qualified for the Olympics would be required to join the camp.
Worlds in December?
With all Olympic qualifying events postponed to 2021 by the United World Wrestling, the only event for Indian wrestlers this year would be the World Championships tentatively scheduled for December. Both the senior (December 12-20) and junior (December 4-10) Worlds will be held in Belgrade “to help reduce risk and control the safety of the events” as per UWW.
A review of the situation will be held by the UWW Executive Board in August.
Olympic schedule finalised
The UWW, meanwhile, has also finalised the competition schedule for the Olympics with wrestling events to be held on the last seven days of the event (August 1-7). While women’s wrestling will be spread across all seven days, Greco-Roman competition will be held from August 1-4 followed by three days of Men’s Freestyle.
The schedule: Days 1/2: GR: 60kg, 130kg | WW: 76kg; Days 2/3: GR: 77kg, 97kg | WW: 68kg; Days 3/4: GR: 67kg, 87kg | WW: 62kg; Days 4/5: FS: 57kg, 86kg | WW: 57kg; Days 5/6: FS: 74kg, 125kg | WW: 53kg; Days 6/7: FS: 65kg, 97kg | WW: 50kg.
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