The Wrestling Federation of India announced the wrestlers in the much-talked about contract lists with 150 wrestlers included in different grades. The contracts will come into effect from November 15 and run for a year.
The president of WFI Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh announced the names of the wrestlers included in the top four categories A, B, C and D. Five more categories – E, F, G, H and I – also include wrestlers from different age groups. The money will be given to the wrestlers at quarterly breaks.
Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Pooja Dhanda are the only three wrestlers included in the A category of the contracts and will receive an annual amount of Rs 30 lakh for an year.
Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Rio Olympic bronze Sakshi Malik were placed in Grade B and will receive Rs 20 lakh for an year.
“Sushil Kumar is an Olympian and despite his low participation, he is the wrestler who brought Indian wrestling to its feet again with two medals at the Olympics. He deserves this. Sakshi has had some up and down performances but this can be upgraded if she performs well,” WFI president Brij Bhusan Saran Singh said.
The WFI will review the performances of the wrestlers for an year and reserves the right to change the category of any wrestler at the end of one year contract. Both national and international performances will be considered for the review.
Sakshi was disappointed for not being included in the top bracket but hoped that with good performance, she can improve.
“I was expecting to be in the top bracket but with strong performances in the next year, I can be part of the top bracket,” she said.
16 other wrestlers were placed in Grade C and Grade D. Seven wrestlers included in the former are Sandeep Tomar (57kg), Sajan Bhanwala (77kg GR), Vinod Kumar (FS), Ritu Phogat (WFS), Sumit Malik (125kg FS), Deepak Punia (86kg FS) and Divya Kakran (WFS). The seven wrestlers will receive a total grant of Rs 10 lakh each annually.
The D grade has nine wrestlers who will receive a grant of Rs 5 lakh each. These wrestlers are Rahul Aware (FS), Naveen Sihag (FS), Utkarsh Kale (FS), Sachin Rathi (FS), Vijay (GR), Ravi Kumar (FS), Simran (WFS), Mansi Ahlawat (WFS) and Anshu Malik (WFS).
Vinesh said that this was a great step by the federation and more than the seniors, the contracts will benefit the junior-level wrestlers who have need financial support at the start of their careers.
“The start is very good. More than us, this will benefit the junior wrestlers because when they start, they need money. I have a few sponsors and included in TOPS so I can afford travel, training,” Vinesh said.
The category E includes Navjot Kaur (WFS), Kiran (WFS), Harpreet Singh (GR) and Jitender (FS). Apart from the monetary benefits of Rs 3 lakh annually, the wrestlers will get benefits of a coach as well.
The wrestlers included in the F category will be gold medallist of the U23 national championships while G will consist wrestlers who will gold medals at the junior nationals. Rs 1.2 lakh and Rs 90000 will be given to each wrestlers respectively.
The cadet national championships gold medallists will receive Rs 60000 annually while U15 nationals gold medallist will get Rs 30000 annually.