The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) stuck to their stance of not giving any wrestlers a re-trial later for the World Championships. The rule applies to Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia as well.
The federation said any retrial would spoil the morale of the wrestler who proved himself in the selection trials held at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Wrestling Federation of India assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told Sportskeeda:
“I don’t think it will be fair to any wrestler if we do re-trials. Yes, Bajrang Punia had informed us about his injury but there were five wrestlers in his bracket who were competing. So, now the one qualified will be final name in 65kg.” .
Tomar added that there is no time to organize the retrials as they have to send the final list of wrestlers for the Worlds slated in Oslo, Norway by September 2. As of now, Rohit is the rightful winner of the trials in Bajrang Punia's weight class
“We have made a particular system by which we give opportunity to wrestlers at the trials. Today, there were many who had requested us to allow them to compete but we denied it. Otherwise, others would also stand up demanding for the trials. And not only Bajrang Punia, even Ravi Dahiya or Deepak Punia will not get a shot at this worlds,” Tomar clarified.
Bajrang Punia has been recuperating from a knee injury that he suffered before the Olympics. The Haryana wrestler is currently doing rehabilitation for it. He said his knee is better than before but it will take some time to recover completely.
“I am doing my rehabilitation. It has been a packed schedule ever since I came back from Tokyo. Have been on the road forever now,” Bajrang Punia said.
The wrestler was present at the IG stadium to support his wife Sangeeta Phogat, who was making a comeback after three years.
Only one Tokyo Olympic wrestler will be going to Oslo this time. Anshu Malik, who suffered an elbow injury, qualified in the 57 kg weight class.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to organize re-trials in four weights
The Wrestling Federation of India, though, will conduct re-trials in weight classes which had only one wrestler at the trials. They are 63 kg and 82 kg in Greco-Roman, 92 kg in freestyle and 76 kg in women's wrestling.
“Since there was only 1 wrestler in following weight categories, therefore, the Selection Committee decided to hold the trial in these weight categories in next week,” Tomar said.