The United World Wrestling (UWW) has postponed next month’s Matteo Pellicone, a World Rankings Series event in Rome, due to the pandemic. A strong Indian contingent, including Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, was to take part.
The decision was made during a UWW meeting on Thursday. However, the dates for the other Rankings Series in Almaty and Tunis remain the same.
“Despite the efforts of the Italian Wrestling Federation to host Rome's Matteo Pellicone tournament in the first week of February, the latest restrictions due to the Omicron variant proved to be a roadblock in hosting the event,” a statement from wrestling's world governing body said.
According to UWW, the Matteo Pellicone will now be held from June 22-25 in Rome.
Wrestling's world governing body also finalized its 2022 Ranking Series calendar during the meeting.
The Yasar Dogu in Istanbul from February 24-27 will be the first event, followed by the second Ranking Series tournament in Almaty (Kazakhstan) from June 2-5.
The rescheduled Matteo Pellicone will now be third in the Ranking Series, followed by the final event in Tunis (Tunisia) from July 14-17.
“We really think that these adjustments will benefit the sport and for the competitions organized every year,” UWW president Nenad Lalovic said while announcing the changes.
“Points will be allocated to the wrestlers depending on their rank at these events. At the end of the year, the athletes who will have the highest number of points will become the best wrestlers of the year,” Lalovic added.
UWW will host the inaugural combined freestyle and women's wrestling World Cup in Iowa, USA. The combined World Cup will be held for two consecutive years – 2022 and 2023 – marking a new beginning in the wrestling calendar.
Baku (Azerbaijan) will host the Greco-Roman World Cup on November 5 and 6. The Senior Asian Championships will be held in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar from April 19-24.