Wrestling nationals to be held at three venues for COVID safety

Wrestling nationals to be held at three venues for COVID safety
WFI will conduct the championships in three cities next year. (File)
New Delhi, Dec 16 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/16/2020 10:44:31 AM IST

In a bid to keep grapplers, coaches and other officials safe from Covid-19, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will conduct its National Championships in three cities over three weekends in January and February, its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said.

While the dates are yet to be finalised, the WFI said it expects wrestlers from all states to take part in the championships, which will be held in Noida, Agra and a yet-to-be-decided venue in Punjab, reports The Indian Express. Strict Covid-19 protocols will be in place and the wrestlers, along with their entourages, will have to undergo RT-PCR tests before being allowed to take part.

If the event goes ahead as planned, wrestling will be the first major sport to conduct its national championships since the outbreak of the pandemic. Sailing is the only sport so far to have held its nationals – in Mumbai last month. The Athletics Federation of India had considered organising the National Throws Championship in October, but could not do so because of pandemic-forced restrictions. 

The men’s freestyle championship is scheduled in Noida, while the women’s event will be conducted in Agra. The Greco-Roman category will be held in Punjab. “We will finalise the dates and the third venue in a day or two,” Singh said.

Yadav set to return

Dope-tainted wrestler Narsingh Yadav will compete for the first time in four years on Wednesday when he takes on Germany’s Osman Kubilay Cakici in a 74kg bout of the World Cup in Belgrade. Yadav was suspended for four years for failing a dope test prior to the Rio Olympics.

Yadav’s return to the mat is being keenly watched as India is yet to seal a quota for the Tokyo Olympics in this weight category. If he does well, it would open up a three-way fight between him, his nemesis Sushil Kumar and Jitender Kumar, who has competed in the 74kg category in their absence.


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