WFI ad-hoc panel hands direct Asian Games entries to Bajrang, Vinesh, raises eyebrows

05:55 PM Jul 18, 2023 | PTI |

New Delhi: The WFI ad-hoc panel on Tuesday handed Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia and World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat direct entries into the Asian Games, a decision which was taken without the consent of the national chief coaches.


The IOA ad-hoc panel said in a circular that it has already selected wrestler in men’s freestyle 65kg and women’s 53kg but trials will be held in all six weight categories in each of the three styles.

The ad-hoc panel did not name Bajrang and Vinesh in the circular but panel member Ashok Garg confirmed to PTI that the two wrestlers have been exempted from the trials.

The Indian Olympic Association’s ad-hoc committee took the decision just four days before the trials to select the wrestling squad for the Asian Games, scheduled to commence on September 23 in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

The greco-roman and women’s freestyle trials are scheduled for July 22, while the men’s freestyle trials will be held on July 23 at IG Stadium in New Delhi.


Bajrang, the 65kg wrestler, who was one of the six protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan, is currently training in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan.

Vinesh, the 53kg wrestler who won the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games gold medal, is training in Budapest, Hungary.

The move to exempt Bajrang and Vinesh, however, has not gone down well with fellow competitors, who have threatened to move court.


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