The assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Vinod Tomar confirmed that the trials for Olympic Qualifiers will be held in March. “We have not yet decided the dates for the qualifiers but in all likeability the trials will be held in March. It will give us time to prepare the selected wrestlers for the Qualifiers in April,” he said.
The list of Indian wrestlers who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics are as follows — Ravi Dahiya (men’s 57kg freestyle), Bajrang Punia (men’s 65kg freestyle), Deepak Punia (men’s 74kg freestyle) and Vinesh Phogat (women’s 53kg freestyle). The aforementioned wrestlers assured themselves of a berth in the 2019 World Championships.
Lot of big names yet to qualify for the Games
Apart from the four who have already qualified, a plethora of big name wrestlers haven’t yet qualified for the Olympic Games. Biggest among them is the bronze medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Sakshi Malik who competes in the 62 kg category. The wrestler has been out of form over the course of the last year and she would look to bounce back and seal her berth.
Meanwhile, in the men’s middleweight division, no Indian has qualified. Sushil Kumar who is a two-time Olympic medalist as well as World Championship medalist in 2015, Narsingh Yadav are in the reckoning for a spot. Promising youngster Sandeep Singh who impressed at the National Championships recently is also in contention.
Two Olympic Qualifiers are left – the Asian one in Kazakhstan in April and the World one in Bulgaria in May.