Not Allowed to Participate in 65kg Trials, Wrestler Alleges
Shrawan alleged that he was allowed to participate in the 65kg category of the trials for the Indian World Championship.
Representative image. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
New Delhi: Bajrang Punia's presence in the 65kg category of the trials for the Indian World Championship team on Friday meant that two of three other wrestlers, who were to compete in the category, withdrew. However, a wrestler has alleged that he was barred from competing in the category.
Shrawan (22) told IANS that he was instead asked to compete either in the 57kg or 61kg category and not in the 65kg slot. Of the two, the 61kg is a non-Olympic category. "I had put in my application to take part in the trials and then they told me that my name is there in the 65kg. Then two days ago I was told that I can compete either in the 57kg or 61kg categories and not in 65kg," said Shrawan.
Shrawan said that he was given no reason for why he cannot compete in the 65kg weight class. However, Wrestling Federation of India secretary Vinod Tomar denied that Shrawan had been asked to compete in any other weight class, although he was told that if he shifted to the 57kg weight class he has a higher chance of competing in the trials.
"The reality is that this athlete has been invisible for the past one and a half years. He has not participated in any of the trials or the Nationals in this period and whatever past performance he had was in the 57kg category. So the discussion that happened with regards to this particular wrestler was that he has no credentials to compete in the 65kg weight class and if he had wanted to compete in 57kg, then he could have stood a chance," said Tomar.
Tomar also said that Shrawan was not the only one and instead there were many other applications that WFI rejected. "They have no credentials to take part in the trials, so we cannot allow them. There are many who will come if we start accepting applications, and some of them could be the kind of people who are only looking to reap the benefits of being labelled as a wrestler who fought someone like Bajrang in the trials for the World Championships," he said.
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