Tokyo Olympics 2020: WFI President claims India are open to hosting the Asian Olympic Qualifiers
What's the story?
In the latest update with respect to the re-scheduling of the Olympic Wrestling qualifiers, it is understood that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is keen on hosting the event, which was originally scheduled between 27-29 March in the Chinese city of Xian but had to be moved out of China due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
It was earlier reported that the venue for the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers 2020 may be shifted from China due to the Coronavirus epidemic.
As of 6 February 2020, over 560 deaths have been attributed to the Coronavirus and over 28,000 cases reported worldwide. The widespread outbreak of the deadly virus in China is the reason why a change in venue for the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers was required in the first place.
Meanwhile, India are all set to host the Asian Wrestling Championship between 18-23 February 2020. The WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is optimistic of their success and the preparations are in full swing.
In case the the International governing body of the sport of amateur wrestling - United World Wrestling (UWW) - is impressed with the arrangements for the Asian Championships then India might also get to host the Asian Olympics Wrestling Qualifiers 2020.
The heart of the matter
Speaking on the matter, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the President of WFI, told PTI:
"UWW had asked for my opinion about shifting the venue and I had said health is paramount. I think the decision will come in 10-12 days. If we are asked to host then we will definitely do it. Our preparations are top-notch for the Asian Championship and maybe after they (UWW) see it, they'll award us the event."
Meanwhile, India are also hopeful for a good medal haul at the Asian Wrestling Championships, with the wrestlers looking to make the most of the home advantage. Bajrang Punia was the sole medal winner in the 2019 edition.
This year, there are high hopes from Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya, Deepak Punia, and Anshu Malik to secure a podium finish in their respective categories. Needless to say, Punia will be medal hope for the nation this time as well.
Dahiya and Bajrang had both won a bronze medal each at the UWW's World Championships last year. Other Indian wrestlers were also been impressive in 2019.
WFI will be looking to ensure that the Asian Championships are a runaway success in order to better their chances for hosting the Asian Olympic Qualifiers.Published 06 Feb 2020, 19:04 IST