Lucknow, November 18: There will be no further breaks in the senior national camp as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) feels it’s time for grapplers to put in more effort in order to secure Tokyo Olympic berths at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers, scheduled from March 26-29 at Xi’an (China).
“There will be no more breaks in the camp as the WFI wants all its medal prospects to stay focused on their training for the Olympic Qualifiers in Xi’an,” said WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar as the camp for women got underway at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Lucknow on Wednesday after a week-long festival break.
With the inclusion of 14 more wrestlers, the strength of the campers is likely to go up to 30. They will be accompanied by personal trainers, mentors and conditioning coaches. “Presently, we have 16 wrestlers and seven support staff at the camp. We have submitted the names of other wrestlers so that the camp can be back to full strength. By next week, the other wrestlers will also join the camp. This is being done to ensure wrestlers make it to the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in all categories,” said Tomar.
SAI executive director, Sanjay Saraswat, said that a few wrestlers had returned after the Diwali break and more were expected in the next couple of days. “Some wrestlers and their support staff have returned, others are expected to report in a day or two,” said Saraswat.
“As per the Covid-19 protocol, the athletes and support staff will have to produce Covid-19 test reports before joining the camp and will also have to go through the 14-day quarantine process,” he said.
Besides announcing the dates for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers, the United World Wrestling (UWW) — the international body for the sport — on Wednesday also decided to hold the World Championship Qualifiers in Sofia, Bulgaria from April 30-May 3. The World Championship will be held after the Tokyo Olympics in Oslo, Norway from October 2-10.
The Cadet World Championship will be held in Budapest from July 19-25, followed by the Juniors World Championship at Ufa, Russia from August 16-22. (Courtesy: HT)