Training camp begins for 12 Indian wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik

Sports Authority of India's training camp for wrestlers reopened after a period of seven months. 12 wrestlers and 9 support staff were a part of the training on Monday.

Sakshi Malik

The Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) center opened after seven months on Monday for top Indian wrestlers. The group of 12 wrestlers and 9 support staff spent the day jogging, running and doing light training at the multi-gym for a period of two hours. The group came together after a long period of time and hence greetings were exchanged with big smiles.

Tokyo Olympics-bound Vinesh Phogat marked the beginning of the camp amid strict guidelines of social distancing. Also part of the camp is Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi Malik. She however wasn’t a part of the training on the first day and is expected to join on October 25. Kuldeep Malik keeping an eye on everyone’s activities. Some chose to walk on the green lush ground before training with Bulgarian Bag and later at the multipurpose hall.

The camp was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will now continue till December 31. The date to conduct the selection of the Indian team would be decided after November 6.

‘All wrestlers have tested corona-negative’

Vinesh Phogat

An official monitoring the camp told reporters that all 12 wrestlers and 9 support staff had tested negative for the coronavirus. He said, “All the 12 wrestlers at the camp have been tested corona negative last evening, and they are allowed to start no-contact training from today only. They all looked excited and enjoyed their schedule with enthusiasm.”

Four wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik along with Lalita, Nisha and Babita are expected to join on October 25. “All four had to follow the process like all the 12 have followed so far. They would also be quarantined for the first seven days and then be allowed for individual training,” said the official.

SAI’s executive director Sanjay Saraswat said he was satisfied with the start of the camp. “Everything started as per the plan and all the campers are happy with the facilities and following the COVID protocols well.”

Also Read: Indian archers aiming to regain lost momentum ahead of Olympics