Wrestling World Championships 2023: With WFI suspended, Indian wrestlers eye Paris 2024 spot under new flag

The quota spots won by an Indian wrestler for the Paris 2024 Olympics, however, will be awarded to the country, according to sources in the Wrestling Federation of India.

Published : Sep 15, 2023 21:33 IST , Kolkata - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO:  India’s Ravi Dahiya in action.
FILE PHOTO: India’s Ravi Dahiya in action. | Photo Credit: PTI

FILE PHOTO: India’s Ravi Dahiya in action. | Photo Credit: PTI

Following the provisional suspension of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) owing to delayed elections preceded by wrestlers’ protests, the Indian athletes will compete under the United World Wrestling flag for the first time in the World Championships, a Paris Olympics qualifying event, starting in Belgrade on Saturday.

However, an Olympic quota place won by an Indian wrestler will be awarded to the country, according to official sources in the ad-hoc committee running the WFI.

In the current Indian squad, Asian champion Aman Sehrawat, who took the place of an injured Olympic silver medallist Ravi Dahiya in freestyle 57kg, and two-time World under-20 champion woman wrestler Antim Panghal (53kg), who replaced last edition’s bronze medallist Vinesh Phogat (who is recovering from a knee surgery), will be among the medal contenders.

It will be interesting to see how these two youngsters perform despite their heavy workload.

Aman has taken part in two trials in as many months and will try to give his best in the World Championships and the Asian Games in consecutive months.

Antim has participated in the World under-20 championships apart from two trials and needs to work harder than ever for the two upcoming elite events.

Sarita Mor, a 2021 Worlds bronze medallist in 59kg, will fancy her chances of winning another medal or at least a quota place in 57kg.

In the absence of last year’s bronze medallist Bajrang Punia, who chose to participate only in the Asian Games, Anuj Kumar will represent the country in the tough 65kg category.

The Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers may find it difficult to make an impact.

Altogether 90 Olympics quota places, equally divided among freestyle, Greco Roman and women’s styles, are on offer in the Serbian capital. The top five finishers, four medalists and the winner of the playoff between losing wrestlers of bronze medal matches, in each Olympic weight category will secure quota places.

Olympic weights:
Freestyle: 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg, 125kg; Greco Roman: 60kg, 67kg, 77kg, 87kg, 97kg, 130kg; Women: 50kg, 53kg, 57kg, 62kg, 68kg, 76kg; Non-Olympic weights: Freestyle: 61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg
Greco Roman: 55kg, 63kg, 72kg, 82kg; Women: 55kg, 59kg, 65kg, 72kg.
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