The men’s 65kg freestyle category selection trial for next month’s World Wrestling Championships will be held in France, instead of India with top two contenders Rahul Mann and Bajrang Punia being under the weather at different point of time. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has sought government’s approval to allow both the wrestlers to travel to Paris for the upcoming championships in Paris.
“Earlier, Bajrang was unwell and now the qualified wrestler Rahul Mann is suffering from a minor injury, so on the request of the chief coach (Jagminder Singh), the Federation has taken approval from the government, so that both wrestlers can travel to France,” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI. “Since there is not much time left for the championship, we have decided to hold the trials in Paris itself before the tournament, and whosoever is fitter at that time will represent India,” he added.
You may also like to watch:
The World Championships is scheduled from August 21 to 26. Asian champion Bajrang’s selection was put on hold during the trials, which were conducted earlier this month, as he was unwell at that time, while the rest of the squad for the tournament was announced across all weight categories. Although Rahul Mann emerged the winner against his other opponents in the 65kg freestyle category, he was supposed to have another trial against Bajrang before the Indian representative in the category is finalised. However with Mann suffering from a minor neck injury at the moment, he is unable to fight.
Earlier Bajrang had submitted an application to the WFI office, requesting that he was unable to participate in the trials due to viral fever and requesting for a final trial in his weight category once he recovers. The federation, after consulting with the chief coach, has decided that the final trial between Rahul and Bajrang will be held the following week and the winner be selected for the World Championship. Bajrang is the highest ranked Indian male grappler (6th in his category) and one of only three in the top-20.
Men’s Freestyle: Sandeep Tomar (57kg), Harphool (61kg), Rahul Mann/Bajrang Punia (65kg), Amit Dhankar (70kg), Praveen Rana (74kg), Deepak (86kg), Satywart Kadiyan (97kg), Sumit (125kg); Greco-Roman: Gyanender (59kg), Ravinder (66kg), Yogesh (71kg), Gurpreet Singh (75kg), Harpreet Singh (80kg), Ravinder Khatri (85kg), Hardeep (98kg), Naveen (130kg).