The wrestlers, who recently won the Asian Games trials, have requested the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) ad-hoc panel and the Sports Ministry to not conduct the World Championship trials before August 20, saying repeating the painful and tedious process of weight loss could lead to injuries ahead of the big-ticket event.
Mansi Ahlawat (women’s 57kg), who shocked World Championship medallist Sarita Mor in the trials on July 22, Vishal Kaliraman (men’s 65kg), Aman Sehrawat (men’s 57kg), Pooja Gehlot (women’s 50kg), Vicky (men’s 92kg), Sunil (Greco Roman 87kg ) and Narinder Cheema (Greco Roman 97kg) have all made a similar request.
The letter has also been marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The delay in announcing the date and criteria for the Asian Games trials by the IOA ad-hoc panel had kept the hopefuls in a tight spot and it did affect their performance.
The World Championship trials are expected to be held by August 10, giving the wrestlers, who competed in the Asian Games selection competition, just about 17 days to be ready for another gruelling contest.
“Losing weight affects our performance and health and it will increase the chance of injury. We just lost weight for Asian Games trials and now it would not be possible for us to lose weight again and compete in the trials within 10-15 days (of Asian Games trials),” the letter read.
According to experts, the body needs at least 10 days to recover from the impact of weight loss and subsequent competition.
“One week before and one week after the competition, a wrester’s routine is different. Weight-loss management is an altogether different kind of training. When will you work on strengthening and other aspects like mat-training if you stay focussed only on weight maintenance,” said a coach.
“Ideally they should not do trials again and that too within such a short period of time,” he added. The World Championship is scheduled to be held in Belgrade, Serbia from September 16-24.
The last date to send entries to the world governing body UWW is August 16.
Ad-hoc panel member Gian Singh has already said that no exemption will be granted to any wrestler for the World Championship trials, which means that grapplers like Sakshi Malik, Jitender Kinha, Sangeeta Phogat and Satywart Kadian will have to appear for competition.
All four missed the Asian Games trials as only Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat were given direct entries for the Hangzhou edition.
Open trials will be conducted for the non-Olympic weight categories with all eligible candidates allowed to compete. There will be a relaxation up to two kgs for all.
The non-Olympic weight categories in the men’s freestyle are 61kg, 70kg, 79kg and 92kg, while they are 55kg, 59kg, 65kg and 72kg in women’s wrestling. In the Greco-Roman style, the categories are 55kg, 63kg, 72kg and 82kg.
For the six Olympic weight categories in each of the three styles, it is likely to be a competition among five wrestlers in each category, including the top four finishers from the Asian Games trials and one from six protesting wrestlers.
The panel is yet to announce a final date and criteria for the World Championship trials.
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