Sports ministry clears Bajrang, Deepak Punia''s proposals for foreign training

Bajrang Punia and Deeepak Punia to miss World Championships trials and train abroad for Asian Games.
Sports ministry clears Bajrang, Deepak Punia''s proposals for foreign training

New Delhi | The Sports Ministry's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has cleared wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Deeepak Punia's proposals to miss the World Championships trials and train abroad till the Asian Games, after receiving desired fitness certificates from the two athletes.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) wanted Olympic-medallist wrestler Bajrang to attend the trials for the World Championships or provide fitness certificate, if he wants exemption from this week's exercise in Patiala.

Bajrang wanted to skip the trials for the World Championships on August 25 and 26 and train at a foreign location to prepare for the Asian Games in Hangzhou beginning September 23.

Bajrang, one of the six wrestlers to sit in protest at the Jantar Mantar against outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and Commonwealth Games gold-medal winner Deepak Punia (86kg), are not keen to compete in the World Championships in Belgrade from September 16, and instead want to undergo long training stints to prepare of the Asian Games.

"On 18th August Bajrang's proposal to train in Kyrgyzstan from 21st August to 28th September (39 days) along with coach, strength & conditioning expert, physiotherapist and sparring partner was put up for discussion in a wrestling sub-committee meeting, where Olympian Deepak Punia's

proposal for training camp in Russia from 23rd August to 28th September (35 days) along with his coach & physiotherapist was also discussed," the SAI said in a statement on Tuesday.

"During the discussion, the committee gave in-principal approval to both Bajrang and Deepak's proposal subject to providing a fitness certificate before going abroad along with a justifiable reason for not participating in Senior World Championship Trials.

"Following this, Bajrang vide email on August 19th gave his reasons for not participating in World Championships trials. Additionally, medical fitness assessment was conducted by SAI on August 21st at NCOE Sonepat wherein he has been declared fit to play/train in competitive sports," it said.

"Meanwhile, Deepak has also submitted his response and medical certificate on August 22nd. As the two have submitted the requisite documents, SAI has now requested the athletes to provide the dates for their travel. The tickets for the same will be booked on the first available flight as soon as their response is received."

While Bajrang has sent a proposal to train in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan (August 21-September 28), Deepak, on the other hand, wants to train in Khasavyurt (Russia) for five weeks (August 23 to September 28) to prepare for the Asian Games.

The World Championships is the first qualification tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and SAI is unhappy that two of the country's top wrestlers want to skip the trials and the showpiece event.

While Bajrang, the 65kg grappler, who won the 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze, has also demanded physiotherapist Anuj Gupta, personal coach Sujeet Maan, strength and conditioning expert Kaazi Kiron Mustafa Hasan and sparring partner Jitender Kinha to accompany him, Deepak has requested the services of coach Kamal Malikov and physiotherapist Shubham Gupta for the training stints.

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