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Trials for World Championships on August 25-26 in Patiala; no wrestler gets exemption | More sports News

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NEW DELHI: The ad-hoc panel, after a period of uncertainty, has officially confirmed the dates for the wrestling World Championships trials as August 25-26, taking place in Patiala.

Earlier, the controversial decision to exempt Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat from the Asian Games trials stirred significant controversy within the wrestling community, with many expressing criticism towards the panel’s choice.

In a notable departure from the Asian Games scenario, the ad-hoc panel has declared that no wrestler will receive an exemption from the trials for the upcoming World Championships scheduled in Belgrade from September 16-24.

In the criteria mentioned for “shortlisting of athletes” for the Worlds, the ad-hoc panel said, “Medallists and participants of all international/ ranking/ Asian/ World Championships/ Commonwealth Games held in 2022 and 2023 and participants of 2022 Tokyo Olympic Games (will have to appear for trials in order to get selected selected for the Worlds).”
Bajrang and Vinesh are currently uncertain about participating in the World Championships trials due to their concerns about the proximity of the Hangzhou Asian Games, which are set to begin on September 23.
It’s important to note that the World Championships hold significant importance as they serve as the initial qualifying opportunity for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Although the deadline for submitting entries by names is initially set for August 16, there’s a positive development as United World Wrestling (UWW) has indicated a willingness to extend this deadline.
This extension is being considered due to the prevailing uncertainty surrounding the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections, a factor that has prompted India to request the deadline extension.
“Since this is an Olympic qualification tournament, we couldn’t have delayed the trials any further as India’s entries would have been rejected,” the ad-hoc panel head Bhupender Singh Bajwa told PTI.
Initially the ad-hoc panel had decided to hold the trials on August 10 and send a notification regarding that to the state association before August 3.

But, later, the panel decided the newly-elected WFI governing body should take a call on the trials as it would get elected on August 12, leaving the elected governing body members plenty of time to conduct the exercise and send the entries to UWW.
But after the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the much-anticipated WFI elections on the eve of the polls (August 11) and adjourned the matter to August 28, a question mark hung over the wrestlers’ participation in the Worlds, leaving the ad-hoc panel to take the important decision to conduct the trials.
“The weigh-in would be held on the same dates of the Selection Trials at 7.00 hrs. at SAI Centre, NS NIS, Patiala and two kg weight tolerance will be allowed in all weight categories,” said the statement.
“Trials will be held in the following categories — Freestyle: 57kg, 61kg, 65kg, 70kg, 74kg, 79kg, 86kg, 92kg, 97kg and 125kg. Greco-roman — 55kg, 60kg, 63kg, 67kg, 72kg, 77kg, 82kg, 87kg, 97kg and 130kg. Women’s wrestling: 50kg, 53kg, 55Kgk, 57Kgk, 59Kgk, 62Kgk, 65Kgk, 68Kg, 72kg and & 76kg.”
Format of trials
The ad-hoc panel said that, if less than eight wrestlers are eligible for trials in a weight category, Nordic system will be applied.
Under the Nordic system, the wrestlers fight each other in a round-robin format. After the matches are over, the wrestlers are ranked according to the number of victories. The top three win medals.
“If eight or more wrestlers are eligible in a weight category, direct elimination format will be conducted,” said the ad-hoc panel statement.
The panel also said that it may apply “seeding system” during the trials.
(With PTI inputs)





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