Birmingham Commonwealth gold medallist Deepak Punia will not participate in the World Wrestling Championships because of an elbow injury. Notably, he fractured his hand during a training session in Michigan, USA.
Sanjeet emerged as the Olympian’s replacement in the 86kg freestyle class, as per the WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar. “Ravi Dahiya has left for Russia and will join the squad in Serbia later. Bajrang Punia (65kg) will also arrive in Belgrade on September 10,” Tomar further added.
Punia was last seen during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which took place last month. The 23-year-old hails from Chhara village of Haryana and bagged the silver medal in the 2019 World Championships in the 86 kg category.
Deepak and Bajrang Punia were training for the World Wrestling Championships scheduled to be held in Belgrade, Serbia, from 10 to 18 September. Bajrang and Deepak had trained in the U.S. before winning gold medals in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and will be accompanied by coach Sujeet Mann and physiotherapist Dr Anand Kumar.
The camp, which has been approved under the Union Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), is set to last for 19 days, with Deepak and Bajrang then traveling to Belgrade for the World Wrestling Championships directly from the U.S.
The two Indian wrestlers will train at Michigan University under head coach Sean Bormet. In the past, coach Bormet has trained Olympics bronze medallist Myles Amine (86kg) and Olympians Stevan Micic (57kg) and Andy Hrovat (84kg), among others.
The Indian squad for World Wrestling Championships:
Vinesh Phogat (55kg), Sushma Shooken (57kg), Sarita Mor; (59kg), Mansi Ahlawat (62kg), Sonam Malik (65kg), Shefali (68kg), Nisha Dahiya (72kg) Reetika (76kg)
Freestyle: Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Pankaj Malik (61kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Naveen Malik (70kg), Sagar Jaglan (74kg), Deepak Mirka (79kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Vicky Hooda (92kg), Vicky Chahar (97kg), Dinesh Dhankar (125kg)
Arjun Halakurki (55kg), Gyanender (60kg), Neeraj (63kg), Ashu (67kg), Vikas (72kg), Sachin (77kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Deepanshu (97kg), Satish (130kg).