Bajrang and Vinesh Could Be Dropped from Asian Games if the Wrestlers Lose Their World Titles

Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat got direct entries for Asian Games whereas other wrestlers in the remaining 16 Olympic weight categories had to undergo rigorous trials on July 22-23.
However, the two heavyweight names could be withdrawn from India’s squad in Asian Games if they lose the trials for the upcoming World Championships.
Punia and Phogat were given direct entry in men’s freestyle 65 kg and women’s 53 kg respectively whereas other candidates, who will participate in the remaining 16 Olympic weight categories underwent gruesome trails on July 22-23 to cement their place in the Indian team for the Hangzhou Games starting from September 23.

Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat staged a little more than one-month-long sit-in protest with four other wrestlers at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Both the players sought time till August 10 to get prepared for the upcoming trials. However, the OCA (Olympic Council Asia) rejected their request and stayed July 23 as the deadline for getting wrestling entries by name.

The IOA ad-hoc panel exempted both Punia and Phogat from the trials though held trails for the other participants. Their decisions have received severe criticism from the wrestling community who brought an allegation of a biased decision against the panel.

“We will propose to the panel that only if Bajrang and Vinesh win the World Championship trials, only then they should be sent for the Asian Games, otherwise not.

If Bajrang loses the trial, then he will be on standby and the winner of the Asian Games trial (Vishal Kaliraman) will go,” Gian Singh, a panel member told the PTI.

As of the current status, Antim Panghal (women’s 53 kg) and Kaliraman (men’s freestyle 65 kg) are standby players. Both have won the Asian Games trials in categories where Vinesh and Bajrang compete.


A group will be formed with the top-four finishers in the Asian Games Trials and one of the six protesting wrestlers in the relevant category for the Olympic weight categories.

The panel proposes that the two third-place winners in the trials on July 22 and 23 should play a match of elimination between them and the winner will compete with the trial winner. The exempted wrestler will compete with the loser in the final, Gian Sing explains.

 “This is what we are going to propose in the next ad-hoc committee meeting. Let’s see if they agree.”

In addition to Vinesh and Punia, the other wrestlers who will get a place in these groups will be Jitender Kinha, Sakshi Malik, her husband Satyawart Kadian and Punia’s wife Sangeeta Phogat.

Kadian, Kinha, Sangeet and Sakshi did not play in the Asian Games trials.

Gian Sing reveals any of these six players is yet to communicate to them if they will participate in the World’s trial.

In the non-Olympic categories, the eligible candidates will be allowed to compete in the open trials. Up to 2 kgs will be relaxed for all, as per the report.

What do you think?

Written by Rupa

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