Wrestlers Protest: There is strong opposition to giving exemption to wrestlers in trial, many coaches expressed objection


Coaches and parents of many established and budding wrestlers Vinesh PhogatSakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia And demanding withdrawal of exemption given to three other wrestlers from the trial for Asian Games and World Championship, said that the selection of wrestlers for these important tournaments should be fair. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) ad hoc committee is facing criticism for favoring these six wrestlers.

6 wrestlers have got exemption

Bajrang Punia’s wife Sangeeta Phogat, Sakshi’s husband Satyavrat Kadian and Jitendra Kinha are also among the wrestlers who got exemption. These six wrestlers were sitting on a dharna against the outgoing President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexual harassment of several female wrestlers. Budding wrestler Sujit’s coach Dayanand Kalkal, father of youngsters Anshu Malik and Sonam Malik and Vikas Bhardwaj, coach of U-20 world champion women wrestler Anvili Panghal, condemned the IOA panel’s decision.

Six wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik get exemption in selection trials, will have to play only one match

WFI’s new committee will conduct trial

Sujit is seen as Bajrang’s opponent in 65kg. Kalkal told PTI, ‘I spoke to Bhupender Singh Bajwa (head of WFI ad-hoc panel) and told him that it is not a right decision. Trials should be fair and without any bias. They listened to me and assured that they will take it back. He also said that the trials would be organized by the new federation after the July 11 elections. Let’s see what happens.’

Bhupender Singh Bajwa did not give any answer

When PTI contacted Bajwa to know if he had made any such promise, he neither picked up the phone nor replied to the message. Though Vinesh and Bajrang have proved their mettle with their performances, the wrestling fraternity is troubled by the exemption given to Kinha, Sangeeta, Sakshi and her husband Satyavrat. A wrestler from Maharashtra said on the condition of confidentiality, ‘Jitendra has not won a single trial in the last two years. How can you put him directly in the finals?

World Championship silver medalist Anshu’s father also raised objection

Sakshi has struggled to beat Sonam Malik in several trials in the 62kg in recent times, while Kinha has not been a regular feature in the Indian team in international tournaments. World Championship silver medalist Anshu’s father Dharmendra Malik said, “The Asian Games come after four years. The World Championship also comes after four years along with the Olympic qualification. These are not ordinary trials. It is completely wrong to exempt these wrestlers from trial.

Injustice is being done to other wrestlers

He said, ‘The protest was to get justice and now they themselves are doing injustice to other wrestlers.’ Dharmendra Malik said, ‘Everyone should compete in the entire draw. All wrestlers are equal. And if there is a weak wrestler, he will become strong only after fighting strong wrestlers. At the same time, the coach of the last Bhardwaj also criticized the IOA panel for giving exemption to the agitating wrestlers. Bhardwaj said, ‘This is wrong. We will oppose it. This is not acceptable.


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