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Wrestlers want to take part in Asian Games trials, say need a month and half to prepare | More sports News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Following the assurance received from the government, wrestlers called off their protest against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the outgoing chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Consequently, on Thursday, the wrestlers expressed their intention to participate in the Asian Games selection trials scheduled for later this month.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur stated that all national federations are determined to finalize the teams for the Asian Games well in advance of the July 15 deadline set by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
The Asian Games are scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8.
A two-member ad hoc committee of Bhupender Singh Bajwa and Suma Shirur, which is running the day-to-day affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) since May 4 will be conducting the selection trials most likely in the last week of June.
However, the wrestlers want some more time to get ready for the trials.
“We want to take part in the selection trial but to prepare for it, we need at least a month and a half of training,” international wrestler Satyawart Kadian, who is also Sakshi Malik‘s husband, told PTI on Thursday.
Getting back into competition mode will be a tough task for the wrestlers as some haven’t competed since the World Championships in September last year while some of others last hit the mat even earlier, during the Commonwealth Games in August, 2022.
The grapplers had pulled out of a slew of international events recently while Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia also opted out of their international training camps in April due to the protest.
While the two central figure of the protest — Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang and world championship medallist Vinesh — figure in the long list, the same cannot be said about Rio Olympics bronze medallist Malik.
The wrestlers have been demanding the arrest of outgoing WFI chief Singh, who they have accused of sexually exploiting women wrestlers, including a minor.
However after a marathon meeting with Thakur on Wednesday where they were assured that a chargesheet will be filed by against Singh, the wrestlers suspended the protest till June 15 as a resolution seems to be round the corner.
On Thursday, Thakur reiterated that the wrestlers’ demands, including the formation of a WFI Internal Complaints Committee headed by a female, will be met.
“I said yesterday as well, we had a very positive meeting with the protesting wrestlers. All the issues that they raise we discussed and we have said that the chargesheet will be filed till June 15 and the WFI elections will take place by June 30. “We want the wrestlers to return to the mat and take part in competitions,” Thakur said.
(With PTI Inputs)

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