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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Six of India's women wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat skip Ukraine camp due to Coronavirus fears

  • The extensive spread of the Coronavirus epidemic has affected multiple sporting events across the world.
Modified 03 Mar 2020, 17:03 IST

Vinesh Phogat
Vinesh Phogat

What's the story?

Six Indian Women grapplers - namely Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Nirmala (50kg), Kiran (76kg), Anshu Malik (57kg), Divya Kakran (68kg), and Sonam Malik (62kg) - were scheduled to attend a two-week training camp in Ukraine as part of the preparations for the Asian Olympic Games Qualifier but will be forced to skip it now due to Coronavirus fears. 

The background

The extensive spread of the Coronavirus epidemic has affected multiple sporting events across the world. India's Women wrestlers have now been forced to cancel their training camp in Kyiv due to the deadly virus. 

The men’s freestyle team of India is also scheduled to attend a training camp in Makhachkala, Russia. The fate for this camp is also uncertain due to the virus.

The heart of the matter

The initial plan was that the six women grapplers would leave for Ukraine in the first week of March. However, due to the apprehension shown by the families of these grapplers, the plan to attend the training camp in Kyiv has been shelved. 

"We requested the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to allow us to train in the country as we do not want to risk ourselves especially with the coronavirus spreading like wildfire. The plan has also left our families worried. We’re happy the federation considered our request," one of the Women wrestlers told TNIE

WFI's General Secretary Vinod Tomar has also revealed that Vinesh Phogat will now be training in Norway with her foreign coach. The remaining grapplers will be training in Lucknow. 

What's next?

The Indian government is yet to release the guidelines for foreign trips as far as athletes are concerned. The six wrestlers were to travel to the Ukrainian capital in a bid to prepare for the Asian Olympic Games qualifier. However, the situation of the Coronavirus is such that the fate of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 itself is uncertain.

Also read - Asian 20km Race Walk Championships in Japan called off due to coronavirus threat

Published 03 Mar 2020, 17:03 IST
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