Veteran Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat is eyeing a comeback to the sport at the Women’s National Trials to be held on March 22 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) center in Lucknow. The Indian team for next month's Asian Olympic qualifiers will be picked from the trials.
The 32-year-old Geeta Phogat, who became a mother in December 2019, has joined the national camp with the aim of making it to the Tokyo Olympics.
Geeta Phogat became the first Indian woman to win a wrestling gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The star grappler clinched the yellow metal in 55kg in front of her adoring home fans to etch her name in the record books. Geeta Phogat was also the first Indian female wrestler to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012.
If she ultimately participates in the National Trials, Geeta will fight it out with national champion Sonam Malik and 2016 Rio Games bronze medallist Sakshi Malik in the 62kg segment.
Meanwhile, Asian champion Divya Kakran will compete in the 68kg category at the trials.
“All the wrestlers, who are in the camp, will compete. Besides them, those who wish to compete in the trials, need to send their request to WFI,” Wrestling Federation of India Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar told WrestlingTV regarding the participation rules.
Men's National Wrestling Trials concluded on March 16
Among the men, Sandeep Singh Mann (74kg), Satyawart Kadian (97kg), and Sumit Malik (135kg) already booked their spots in the Asian Olympic qualifiers with superb performances at the National Trials on March 16.
Besides them, six wrestlers also made it to the Asian Olympic qualifiers in the Greco-Roman category - Gyanender (60kg), Ashu (67), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Sumit Kumar (87kg), Ravi (97kg), and Naveen Kumar (130kg).
Deepak Punia (86kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Ravi Kumar Dahiya (86kg), and Vinesh Phogat (53kg) are the only Indians to have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics so far.