New Delhi: The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) ad-hoc committee on Tuesday gave direct entry to Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia and World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat in the Asian Games. However, this decision was taken without the consent of the national head coach.
The ad-hoc committee appointed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said in a circular that it has already selected wrestlers in men’s freestyle 65kg and women’s 53kg. Despite this, trials will be held in all six weight categories in all three styles.
The ad-hoc committee did not name Bajrang and Vinesh in the circular, but panel member Ashok Garg confirmed to PTI that both wrestlers have been exempted from the trial. The ad-hoc committee took the decision four days ahead of the trials to select the wrestling team for the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China on September 23.
The Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle trials are scheduled for July 22, while the men’s freestyle trials will be held on July 23 at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. Bajrang challenges the 65kg category. He is one of the six wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar demanding the arrest of outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
He is currently training at Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan. 53kg wrestler Vinesh, who won the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games (2018), is training in Budapest, Hungary. According to a wrestling source, the move to exempt Bajrang and Vinesh has not gone down well with their fellow competitors. These wrestlers have been challenged to approach the court.