Indian grapplers Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalkal were not allowed to take part in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers after the duo failed to reach Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on time to participate in the weigh-ins on Friday.

The duo had been stranded at the Dubai airport since Tuesday, according to reports, after flights were cancelled due to the unprecedented flooding and rains in the United Arab Emirates.

Weigh-ins for their categories – 65kg for Kalkal and 86 kg for Punia – were scheduled to take place early morning on Friday with their respective bouts taking place later on in the day.

According to the Sports Authority of India, the two wrestlers were then scheduled for a flight to Bishkek on Thursday night.

However, despite the Indian wrestlers reaching the city soon after 8 am on Friday, organisers did not allow them to participate since they reached the wrestling venue late.

As reported by The Indian Express, the duo are travelling with coach Kamal Malikov and physio Shubham Gupta.

While the other Indian wrestlers, including Asian Games and Commonwealth Games medallist Vinesh Phogat, travelled directly from India, Punia and Kalkal were training in Russia between April 2 and 15 and then were due to travel to Bishkek on April 16.

However, they travelled to Bishkek via Dubai.

Punia had narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games and was one of the biggest contenders to secure a quota for the Paris Games at the first of two qualifying events in the sport. This was supposed to be Kalkal’s first major tournament after the wrestler edged out Bajrang Punia, who had won a bronze medal at Tokyo, in the same weight category.

The duo will most likely have another shot at qualifying for Paris 2024 at the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Istanbul, Turkey between May 9 and 12.