Picture Credit: Twitter

Picture Credit: Twitter

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) remains divided after the protest hit the wrestlers in the country. Things thereafter have seemed to get worse as two of the protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat have been in the headlines after being granted direct qualification for the upcoming Asian Games. The Games, which were initially scheduled to take place in 2022 have been postponed and will take place from 23 September to 8 October in Hangzhou, China.

Also Read: Olympic medallist Ravi Dahiya to miss 2023 Asian Games; know why


In the latest update, the two World Championships medallists broke silence on the move by the WFI after being handed direct berths for the multi-sport event. During a Facebook Live, Tokyo Olympics medallist Punia said that they were waiting for the court order to come out and were not running from trials. “We were waiting for the court order to come out and speak. We never wanted any exemption from trials. All we said was that we needed a month’s practice to comeback,” he addressed during the live.


Vinesh Phogat, the wrestler who was granted direct entry also added that they have no issues in giving the trials. Phogat, who was challenged by Antim Panghal said, “We have no issues in giving trials. Take trials ad whoever wins will go. We have been saying this.”


Quoting Panghal’s statement were the standby player challenged Phogat, the Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist added, “She is right ‘haq milna chahiye (I must get my right)’. She is right, fight for your right but do not portray us in wrong manner. I have given my life to the sport, got inspired by Sushil pehlewan and his Olympic medals. I wanted to make my contribution so that girls can come out and do wrestling.”


Although both these wrestlers have opened up after other wrestlers being divided on this move, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has also made a statement adding that no wrestler will go ahead without a final assessment.


However, the trials for the Asian Games are done, the trials for World Championships are set to take place on August 15 and no exemption has been given for the same to anyone so far.


Indian wrestling team for Asian Games 2023:

Gyanender (60kg), Neeraj (67kg), Vikash (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Narinder Cheema (97kg), Naveen (130kg).
Women’s freestyle:
Pooja Gehlot (50kg), Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Antim Panghal (53kg - Standby), Mansi Ahlawat (57kg), Sonam Malik (62kg), Radhika (68kg), Kiran (76kg).
Men’s freestyle:
Aman Sehrawat (57kg), Bajrag Punia (65kg) Vishal Kaliraman (65kg - Standby), Yash )74kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Vicky (97kg), Sumit (125kg).