Wrestling trials on June 26June 20, 2018, Sonipat
The much-delayed wrestling selection trials in the 57kg category for Asian Games will now be held on June 26 at the SAI training centre, Sonepat.
The trials will be held alongside selections for the World Championships, to be held from October 20 to 28 in Budapest, in the non-Olympic weight categories barring the 61kg freestyle. Those already selected for the Asiad in their respective weight categories have already been announced as participants for the Worlds as well.
“Our best wrestlers in 57kg are equally competent in 61kg. The four in fray for Asian Games are far ahead of the rest. We would like to have a strong team at the Worlds. Once the Asiad selection is done, we will hold trials for the 61kg separately after some time to give the remaining three enough time to recover and take a shot at a Worlds’ slot,” a WFI official explained.
In the 65kg and 74kg, trials would be held on June 26 with the winners facing off Bajrang Punia and Sushil Kumar respectively for a Worlds’ slot but only after the Asian Games.
The Asiad trials were held on June 9 but the three main contenders in 57kg — Sandeep Tomar, Utkarsh Kale and Ravi Kumar — finished equal on points. It was rescheduled for June 13 but postponed after CWG gold medallist Rahul Aware, who initially stayed away alleging favouritism, sought permission to contest and more time to prepare.
Meanwhile, interviews of the three foreign coaches continue to be delayed even though they have been cleared in-principle by the SAI. The online interviews were supposed to be held on Tuesday. WFI officials said the proposal was all but cleared but SAI wanted to go through the due process before giving its official approval.
“We have no objections to the proposal or the names but we need to have an interview before officially clearing the files. It is a process we have to follow,” a senior SAI official explained.
The three coaches — Iranian Hossein Karimi for freestyle, Georgian Temo Kazarashvili for Greco-Roman and Russian Farnievirvek Valentinovic for women — are now expected to join only after the Asian Games.
No dope test at
The recent Under-15 Nationals in Meerut had no officials from NADA despite the federation writing to them. WFI insisted it had repeatedly informed the national anti-doping agency of the dates but there was no response.
“We know it is u-15 so it is not a priority but it was also a selection event for the Asian Championship later this year. If someone does get caught there, the blame will be on the federation,” officials rued.