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SAI ad-hoc panel to shortlist judo players during month-long camp for European tour

Action from the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games (Image courtesy: Getty Images)
Action from the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games (Image courtesy: Getty Images)
Navneet Singh

It's a big respite for elite Indian judo players as the Sports Ministry has approved a national camp in preparation for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Hangzhou Asian Games. The final selection for the upcoming international competitions will be conducted during the month-long camp.

The camp has already commenced on Sunday in Patiala for men and in Delhi for the women's section. It is being held under the aegis of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ad-hoc panel after the annual recognition of the Judo Federation of India (JFI) was suspended earlier this month by the Sports Ministry.

While Jiwan Sharma, former national coach and Dronacharya awardee, is overseeing the women’s camp, Navjot Channa, a former international judoka, is the head coach of the men’s team.

SAI’s ad-hoc panel has shortlisted 112 probables, including 56 in the women’s group during the open national selection trials held in Delhi from April 23-25.

“During the camp the list of probables will be pruned," Sharma said. "The top four in each of the seven weight categories will be selected for upcoming international competitions in Europe."

The second round of selection trials in the women’s group will be conducted on May 23 and 24, while the men’s selection trials will take place on May 25 and 26 in Patiala.

“The SAI has proposed to send selected judo players to Georgia and Croatia for an international exposure tour,” Sharma added.

According to a SAI official, the top two ranked athletes will also get a chance to compete in Georgia and Japan, while the third and fourth ranked athletes will compete and practice in Croatia and Kazakhstan.

At the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, India won four medals, including one in men’s group. Judo was scrapped from the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia. However, the discipline will feature at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, starting July 28.

The organizing committee of the Commonwealth Games allotted six weight categories to India, including three in the women’s group. While 60kg, 66kg and below 100kg are the three weight categories allotted in the men’s group, 48kg, 57kg and 63kg are the three weight groups allotted in the women’s section for Commonwealth Games.

“It is a good move by the government to conduct the national camp and give international exposure before the Commonwealth Games,” an international judo player selected for the camp said.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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