Star wrestler Vinesh Phogat, the only Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for Tokyo Olympics, won’t be a part of the upcoming national camp amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The national camp for women wrestlers is slated to begin on September 1 in Lucknow and the men will wrestle it out in Sonepat later in the same month. Vinesh has said that it will be too risky to travel to Lucknow during the pandemic. Her backing out of the camp has not amused the national federation, PTI reported.
“I am not going to attend the camp. I am training everyday with coach Om Prakash, who follows the plan which my personal coach Woller Akos sends me every week,” Vinesh was quoted as saying by Mail Today. She is now at her home in Haryana and said that she took the decision because in Lucknow “the cases are rising but it’s safe in Haryana, so I am more comfortable here.” The camp has been arranged for Olympic weight category wrestlers
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), however, is not very happy about the news that a top wrestler won’t be able to make it to the national camp. They recently received a nod from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to hold national camp from next month. Although along with Vinesh, many wrestlers have voted “against it,” a report by Sportstar claimed.
What You Should Know
- Vinesh Phogat has pulled out of the national camp.
- She says she has safety concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The national camp will start from September 1 in Lucknow.
- Vinesh says she is not comfortable travelling to Lucknow as the cases are rising in the city.
Stomach pretty ‘sensitive’
Vinesh (53kg) was unbeatable at last year’s World Wrestling Championships which led her to qualify for the Olympics. The wrestler, who comes from the famous Phogat family, explained further that she “falls sick very easily” and she does not want to take a chance with her health.“My stomach is pretty sensitive. You can’t go out of the SAI centre in Lucknow, so you can’t get yourself a few things which you need,” the Commonwealth Games gold-medallist added.
“The selection committee will decide if Vinesh will get exemption or not. The camp is for players. We want preparation to kick off now for Olympics,” said WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.
As of Sunday, Haryana has registered 48,040 COVID-19 cases. Recently, six players of the Indian hockey team were tested coronavirus positive when they arrived for the national camp in Bengaluru. They have now recovered and been discharged.
Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia favourites
Only four Indian wrestlers are going to the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) among men, while Vinesh is the only women wrestler in the league.
Bronze medallist at London 2012, Yogeshwar Dutt had earlier said that his favourite for the 2021 Olympics is Bajrang Punia along with Vinesh Phogat and Deepak Punia.
Picture credit: Wrestlingtv/Facebook