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Vinesh gets what she demanded after public spat with WFI

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 18, 2024 21:07 IST
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WFI obtains accreditation of Vinesh Phogat's coach and physio for Asia Olympic qualifier

Vinesh Phogat

Photograph: Kind Courtesy Vinesh Phogat/Instagram

Star wrestler Vinesh Phogat will have access to her personal coach and physio at the Asia Olympic qualifier after the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) obtained their accreditation cards following a special request to the event organisers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Phogat, a two-time Olympian, had last week accused the WFI of trying to stop her from competing in the Asia Olympic qualifiers by creating logistical hurdles for her support staff.

However, WFI president Sanjay Singh on Thursday told PTI that they have obtained the accreditation of the two officials.


Vinesh Phogat

"We had put in a special request with the organisers to allow access to Vinesh's coach and physio in the competition as it will make the athlete comfortable and they give them accreditation," Singh told PTI.

The 29-year-old Phogat, who won 53kg bronze medals in the 2019 and 2022 World Championships, will be competing in the 50kg category at the Asia Qualifiers beginning in Bishkek from Friday in a bid to seal a berth for the Paris Olympics.

Phogat, who was one of the face of Indian wrestlers' protest against former national federation (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, had alleged that her personal coach and physio were being denied accreditation for the tournament, the second last qualifying event for the Paris Games.

"For the past one month, I have been requesting the Government of India (SAI, TOPS) for the accreditation of my coach and physio. Without accreditation, it is not possible for my coach and physio to accompany me to the competition arena," she had written in a social media post.

"But despite repeated requests, I am not getting any concrete answer from anywhere. No one is ready to help. Will the future of players always be played with like this? No stone is being left unturned to mentally harass us. How far is it justified to torture us like this before such an important competition?."

WFI had, however, maintained that Phogat's request mail (for accreditation of her coach and physio) came on March 18 but by then it had already sent the entries of the players, coaches and medical staff to the world governing body UWW. 

Two Indian wrestlers stranded at Dubai airport on way to Bishkek for Olympic qualifier

Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalakal's chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics hit a roadblock as the two Kyrgyzstan-bound Indian wrestlers were left stranded at the Dubai international airport due to unprecedented rains in the gulf nation.

Deepak (86kg), who had come close to winning a medal at the Tokyo Games, and Sujeet (65kg), were on their way to Bishkek to participate in the Asia Olympic qualifiers, the second-last qualifying event for Paris Olympics, beginning on Friday.

However, the duo was left stranded at the Dubai airport after the heaviest recorded rainfall ever to hit the nation left major highways and roads flooded and one of the world's busiest airports in a disarray.

The duo, accompanied by Russian coach Kamal Malikov and physio Shubham Gupta, has been forced to sleep on the floor and has no access to proper food due to the rain-induced crisis

Deepak and Sujeet have their weigh-in at 8am on Friday while the bouts are scheduled later in the day.

"They are stuck at the Dubai airport since April 16 and it seems the chance of qualifying for Paris Olympics is slipping out of their hands as they are scheduled to compete tomorrow. They are not getting any flights to Bishkek. I am worried about them," Dayanand Kalakal, Sujeet's father, told PTI.

Deepak and Sujeet were training in Dagestan, Russia from April 2 to 15 and decided to fly from Makachkala to Bishkek via Dubai.

The last chance to qualify for Paris will be World qualifiers in Turkey in May. 

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