An ‘unprepared’ Indian women’s wrestling squad is headed for the World Championships in Norway scheduled from October 2 to 10. The 10-woman team will be taking to the mat in the big-ticket competition in Oslo without any serious training.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has very little idea about the squad’s preparations. All the selected wrestlers except Sarita Mor (59kg) decided to skip the 10-day preparatory camp organized at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi.
The camp was originally planned to begin on September 5 at the SAI center in Lucknow. Later, it was postponed to September 15 and finally began at IGI Stadium on September 20.
The wrestling federation, which has been trying to set examples for misconduct, too did not take any action against the grapplers. It directed the women’s wrestling head coach Kuldeep Malik to keep a watch on preparations from the SAI Sonepat campus. Incidentally, Malik did so without visiting their akhadas. He just took reports over calls.
A WFI official in an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda said:
“Sarita did report for the camp but she returned to train at her own akhada after none of the other wrestlers reported at the camp.”
WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, though, feels that the wrestlers are ready up for their first wrestling world championships since the Tokyo Olympics.
“They had been training at their akhadas. It was anyway a 10-days camp, so I think even though they didn’t show up, they are ready for the world championships,” he said.
Wrestling Fedaration of India president to keep close eyes on team’s performance
Meanwhile, WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will keep a close watch on the team’s performance at the world championships.
He believes it is a golden opportunity for the youngsters to shine and start challenging the elite Indian wrestlers in the build-up to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
It will be good exposure for them, he says, and also increase competition for a place in the Indian team for the two marquee events next year.
“I am looking forward to how these youngsters perform. They are riding on some really good performances at the junior and cadet worlds held this year. This also shows there will be a lot of competition in the months to come for the Asian and Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Women's World Wrestling Championships squad: Hanny Kumari (50kg), Pooja Jatt (53kg), Pinki (55kg), Anshu (57kg), Sarita (59kg), Sangeeta (62kg), Bhateri (65kg), Ritu Malik (68kg), Divya Kakran (72kg)