Internet Desk: Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Poonia will spearhead the Indian challenge at the Asian Wrestling Championship which will take place in New Delhi from May 10-14.
A number of 24 other strong teams will participate in the tournament with eight each in freestyle, women and Greco-Roman category.
In this event, 112 freestyle, 103 Greco-Roman and 83 female wrestlers will be vying for 24 gold and silver along with 48 bronze medals.
After skipping three trials due to various reasons, Sakshi (58 kg) and her husband Satyawart Kadian (120 kg) won their respective trials in Lucknow.
Sakshi beat Manju 10-0 in a technical knock out while Satyawart got a walk over after opponent Mausam Khatri skipped the event due to his marriage.
Vinesh Phogat, who suffered serious injury during Rio Olympics, will be making a comeback in the Championship.
WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is expecting a good show.
“The recent invitational event in Bulgaria went off well.
Considering the standard of the tournament, 3 medals was a good effort. We expect the team to do well,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, Singh defended Geeta and Babita Phogat’s decision to train under their father Mahavir Phogat.
On a high after their commercially successful biopic ‘Dangal’ the Phogats now are back with their dad Mahavir and no one knows when they would be back in the camp.
The WFI president admitted that he cannot force anyone to attend the national camp.
“We can’t force anyone to attend camp. They are seniors and if they decide their own training module, we have to allow them. That’s why we encourage juniors in the camp,” Singh said.
Asked if WFI would recommend Phogats for TOP scheme with their father also getting government grant as their coach, the president evaded the query.
The WFI is looking at some Japanese coaches for Greco- Roman and female category.
“We are in search of younger foreign coaches. The ones who are showing interest are not up to the mark and ones who are good aren’t interested. It’s a tricky situation,” Singh said.
With inputs from PTI.