In a big setback for the Tokyo-bound Indian contingent, wrestler Deepak Punia, who is a member of the continent set to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games, has pulled out of the Poland Open due to a hand injury. However, the relief is that the decision has been taken as a precautionary measure so that he doesn't aggravate his injury heading into the showpiece event in Japan.
Notably, Punia was to take the mat for the 86 Kg event but decided against competing in the quarterfinal with American Zahid Valencia. It is further being learned that the 2019 World Championships bronze winner suffered the injury a couple of days before leaving for Warsaw during a practice session.
"He did not want to aggravate the injury and had informed the Federation that he will take a call on competing after reaching. After assessing his hand this morning, he decided not to take the mat," a source in the Indian camp said was quoted as saying in a PTI report.
Do not want to put pressure on wrestlers: WFI Assistant Secretary
Meanwhile, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) confirmed the sequence of events.
"Yes, we had given him a choice. We do not want to put pressure on wrestlers, Olympics are near, so no point in taking risks," said WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar as per this report.
However, Punia will stay put with the team till July 5 for the training camp that has been organised by the Polish Federation.