The women’s national wrestling camp, which was scheduled to start from September 1 in Lucknow, was on Saturday postponed again after top players expressed apprehensions about travelling amid rising cases of coronavirus .
It is for the second time that women’s camp has been postponed. The Wrestling Federation of India had originally wanted to start the camp in the second week of August but was forced to postpone in the wake of Covid-19.
Vinesh Phogat, the only Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for Tokyo Olympics, had already pulled out of the national camp citing health concerns. Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik had also expressed safety concerns.
“The National Women’s Wrestling Camp which was scheduled to be held from 1st Sept 2020 for 15 Olympic-bound Women Wrestlers at SAI’s Lucknow Centre has been postponed. The new dates will be intimated in due course,” SAI said in a statement.
WFI Assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said they were keen to begin the camp but since players were worried they were forced to postpone it for at least two weeks.
“Vinesh and Divya Kakran had said they were not keen to travel. We were already organising the camp for a limited number of weight categories, so if these players are not willing to come, what we could have done,” Tomar said.
“If God forbid something happens, the federation would have been blamed. So we will review the situation after two weeks and take a decision. Several other countries have started preparations for Olympics and we did not want to lag behind.
“But we can’t do it, if players won’t attend camp,” he said.
The men’s camp, slated to begin at the SAI centre in Sonipat, will however start as scheduled with 18 wrestlers. Three wrestlers each from six Olympic categories (57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg, 125kg) will be training.
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