The selection trials for picking the Indian wrestling team for the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers and Asian Championships will be held on March 10-11 in Patiala and Sonipat respectively, the ad-hoc committee managing the sport said on Friday. The trials were initially planned for February 27-29 but got postponed after a delay in hosting the senior national championships due to “unavoidable circumstances”. The trials for women wrestlers will be held at NSNIS Patiala, while the trials for greco roman and freestyle grapplers will be held at SAI Sonipat.
“The ad-hoc committee will be organizing the selection trials for selecting the Indian wrestling team for the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers & Asian Championships on March 10-11, 2024,” the ad-hoc committee, headed by Bhupender Singh Bhajwa, said in a statement.
“Earlier the trials were announced to be held on 27-29 February 2024. However, because of a delay in organizing the 2023 Senior National Championships due to unavoidable circumstances, the trials are being postponed,” the panel added.
The winner of the trials in the Olympic weight category will get to represent India in the upcoming Olympic qualifiers — the Asian Olympic Qualifiers (April 19-21) and World Olympic Qualifiers (May 9-12).
While the winner in non-Olympic weight categories will represent India in Senior Asian Championships (April 11-16), the runners-up in Olympic weight categories at the trials will represent India at the Senior Asian Championships.
Antim (53kg) will be given direct entry to play at the 2024 Senior Asian Championships. India has so far secured Olympic quota in 53kg women’s wrestling category by virtue of Antim’s bronze medal at the 2023 Senior World championships.
Indian wrestlers can still grab 17 quotas (5 in women wrestling, 6 in greco roman and 6 in freestyle).
The ad-hoc committee was formed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after the Sports Ministry suspended the Sanjay Singh-led Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for violating its own constitution soon after the body’s victory in the elections last December.
Sanjay Singh is a close associate of former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who was accused of sexual harassment by the famous wrestling trio of Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia.
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