WFI invites Bajrang, Vinesh, retired Sakshi for trials to select teams for 2024 Olympics Qualifier

Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik
Image Source : PTI Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik at a press conference in New Delhi on December 21, 2024

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) invited top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and retired Sakshi Malik for the trials to select the teams for the Senior Asian Wrestling Championship and Asian Olympic Games Qualifier on Monday. 

The WFI announced that trials for both upcoming tournaments will be held at K.D. Jadhav Wrestling Indoor Stadium in New Delhi starting on March 10. Sanay Singh-led WFI also requested all state federations to inform the wrestlers to attend the trials. 

“I would like to inform all affiliated units of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) that the selection trials to select the teams for participation in the following events are being conducted on 10th and 11th March 2024 at K.D. Jadhav Wrestling Indoor Stadium, IGI Sports Complex, New Delhi,” the WFI president Sanjay Singh said in a statement. “All state units are requested to intimate the wrestlers as per the list attached to participate in the said trials.”

The United World Wrestling (UWW) body lifted the five-month suspension on the Wrestling Federation of India on February 13, allowing them to conduct the trials. However, Sanjay Singh’s panel remains suspended by the sports ministry but the WFI holds the right to send teams to the Olympic Games according to the UWW rulebook.

Sakshi, Bajrang and Vinesh did not take part in the latest WFI nationals but competed in the national championships organized by the sports ministry-ordered ad-hoc committee earlier this month. The latest trial list by WFI includes Bajrang (65kg freestyle), Vinesh (55kg), Sakshi (62kg) and also Antim Panghal (54kg), who has already secured the Paris Olympics 2024 qualification. 

Winners in the trials will participate in the Senior Asian Wrestling Championshiop in Bishkek, starting on April 11 and the Asian Olympic Games Qualifier Tournament from April 19 with the latter determining the teams for the Paris Olympic Games 2024 starting on July 26.