Commonwealth Games gold medallist Narsingh Yadav is among the eight male wrestlers selected to represent India in the Asian Wrestling Championship in Kazakhstan next month. Earlier in the month, nine wrestlers were picked from the men’s trials for the Indian team for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers.
Narsingh Yadav (79kg), Ravinder (61kg), Karan (70kg), and Sanjeet (92kg) will fight it out in the Freestyle category. In the Greco-Roman category, Sandeep (55kg), Neeraj (63kg), Kuldeep Malik (72 kg) and Harpreet (82kg) have been selected.
During the trials in New Delhi, Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Gyanendra (60kg), Ashu (67kg), Ravi (97kg), and Naveen (130kg) were selected for the Asian qualifiers. The three Freestyle event wrestlers for the same are Sandeep Singh Mann (74kg), Satyawart Kadian (97kg), and Sumit (125kg).
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Monday also announced that five women – Seema (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg), Sonam Malik (62kg), Nisha (68kg), and Pooja (76kg) – will represent India at the Asian qualifiers and Asian Wrestling Championship. Both events will be happening in Kazakhstan from April 9-18.
Sushil Kumar, Geeta Phogat give National trials a miss
Two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar has decided to give the men’s trials a miss, citing a lack of preparation. He also informed that he is looking forward to the World Olympic qualifiers, which are scheduled to take place in Sofia in Bulgaria in May.
In case someone manages to book an Olympic place in the 74kg category from the Asian qualifiers, Sushil’s chances of going to Tokyo will be up in smoke.
Geeta Phogat was a notable absentee from the women’s trials. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist wrestler, who has been out of action since the birth of her daughter in December 2019, is still not in shape to compete.
“My fitness level is still not where it should be. I had reduced weight by doing cardio exercises but I was even struggling to complete my two-hour workout session. I even had to skip one or two sessions in the week to rest my body,” Phogat was quoted as saying to PTI.
Till now four Indian wrestlers have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. They are Bajrang Punia (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg), and Vinesh Phogat (53kg).