Sports Authority of India (SAI) announced on Saturday that the national camp for women's wrestlers has been postponed. The camp was scheduled to take place from September 1 at the SAI centre in Lucknow. SAI, in its statement, added that the "new dates will be intimated in due course."
The national camp was in news recently after India's top wrestler Vinesh Phogat refused to come to Lucknow for the camp citing coronavirus scare and said she would rather continue training with her coach, where she feels safer in the current scenario.
However, that had miffed Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and they said they were not aware whether the facilities in which Vinesh is training is good enough. They retorted saying, "We are not running a shop for our benefit, the camp is for players and when they express such apprehensions, it’s a bit surprising."
There is no official reason given for the postponement but there had been questions on whether the camp can go forward after several wrestlers refused to confirm their participation.
Apart from Vinesh, Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik also expressed reservation saying she will not commit to the upcoming national camp until other women wrestlers also confirm their participation.
"What is the point of joining the camp if there is no competition? I got to know that many girls have refused to join the camp, so what will I do there and train with whom?" Sakshi had told IANS. "There are ten days left for national camp to start, so I will wait and see who all are coming and who aren't."
Off the controversy, Vinesh Phogat has been bestowed with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award while Sakshi Malik received a snub for the Arjuna award. Sakshi, who has previously received the Khel Ratna, was recommendation for Arjuna award, but she did not make it to the final list.
On Saturday, Sakshi took to social media to express her disappointment over the snub and questioned what more she could do to get the Arjuna award in a letter to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(With IANS inputs)