The selection trials for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers and Asian wrestling championships have been postponed to March 10 and 11, the ad-hoc committee running the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) said in a statement on Friday.
Earlier, the trials were scheduled to be held from February 27 to 29.
The ad-hoc panel said that the trials are being postponed because of the delay in organising the National championships, which concluded in Jaipur on Monday, and “unavoidable circumstances.”
According to reliable sources, the trials were shifted to March in order to give more time to some experienced wrestlers, including a few who participated in the protests against the WFI top brass last year. A leading face of the protest, two-time World championships bronze medallist Vinesh Phogat, returned to competition in Jaipur after her knee surgery and won the women’s 55kg crown.
The trials for men (freestyle and Greco-Roman) will be held at Sonepat, while Patiala will host the women’s trials.
“The winner of the trials in Olympic weight categories will represent India in upcoming Olympic qualifiers, including the Asian Olympic qualifiers (April 19-21) and World Olympic qualifiers (May 9-12),” said the statement.
The second-placed athletes in Olympic categories and the winners in non-Olympic weight categories will compete in the Asian championships in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from April 11 to 16.
Antim Panghal (53kg), who landed a bronze in the World championships last year and has been the only Indian wrestler to win an Olympic quota place so far, will be given a direct entry to compete at the Asian championships. Indian wrestlers can win 17 more quota places in the remaining two qualifiers.
The trials for men (freestyle and Greco-Roman) will be held at Sonepat, while Patiala will host the women’s trials
Antim Panghal (53kg) will be given a direct entry to compete at the Asian championships.