» Sports » After suspending protest, wrestlers want to take part in Asian Games trials

After suspending protest, wrestlers want to take part in Asian Games trials

Source: PTI
June 08, 2023 22:09 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

IMAGE: After suspending the protest for a week, wrestlers want to take part in the Asian Games trials. Photograph: PTI

A day after calling off their protest against outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh having received assurance from the government, the wrestlers on Thursday expressed intent to take part in the Asian Games selection trials scheduled to be held later this month.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday said that all national federations are aiming to finalise the squads for the Asian Games, well before the July 15 deadline set by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

The Games are set to take place in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.

A two-member ad hoc committee of Bhupender Singh Bajwa and Suma Shirur, which is running the day-to-day affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) since May 4 will  be conducting the selection trials most likely in the last week of June.

However, the wrestlers want some more time to get ready for the trials.

"We want to take part in the selection trial but to prepare for it, we need at least a month and a half of training," international wrestler Satyawart Kadian, who is also Sakshi Malik's husband, told PTI on Thursday.


Getting back into competition mode will be a tough task for the wrestlers as some haven't competed since the World Championships in September last year while some of others last hit the mat even earlier, during the Commonwealth Games in August, 2022.

The grapplers had pulled out of a slew of international events recently while Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia also opted out of their international training camps in April due to the protest. 

While the two central figure of the protest -- Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang and world championship medallist Vinesh -- figure in the long list, the same cannot be said about Rio Olympics bronze medallist Malik.

The wrestlers have been demanding the arrest of outgoing WFI chief Singh, who they have accused of sexually exploiting women wrestlers, including a minor.

However after a marathon meeting with Thakur on Wednesday where they were assured that a chargesheet will be filed by against Singh, the wrestlers suspended the protest till June 15 as a resolution seems to be round the corner.

On Thursday, Thakur reiterated that the wrestlers' demands, including the formation of a WFI Internal Complaints Committee headed by a female, will be met.  

"I said yesterday as well, we had a very positive meeting with the protesting wrestlers. All the issues that they raise we discussed and we have said that the chargesheet will be filed till June 15 and the WFI elections will take place by June 30.  

"We want the wrestlers to return to the mat and take part in competitions," Thakur said.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Asian Games 2023

Asian Games 2023