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Ten women wrestlers likely to miss Asian Championships trials as WFI cracks whip over indiscipline

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Chief coach Jitendra Yadav and his team have already sent the names of the erring grapplers for a possible omission from the trials.


File photo of wrestling.(File)



As many as ten women wrestlers, including an international medallist, may not get a chance to showcase their skills on the mat when the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) picks the squad for Asian Championships on March 25.

The reason for their likely omission is WFI’s “zero tolerance” policy to any indiscipline. In fact, chief coach Jitendra Yadav and his team have already recommended the erring athletes for a possible omission from the trials.

Not joining the camp, arriving late for training and even saying no to training for personal reasons are the common acts of indiscipline, and such malpractices were allegedly prevalent in the recent past.

“There are different reasons for indiscipline by a few wrestlers but it’s not going to be tolerated anymore and I have recommended at least 10 names to the WFI to not allow such wrestlers to attend trials as discipline is a must for everyone, including the seniors,” said Yadav.

The system of granting leaves to the wrestlers has been revised as well. Unlike the past, a wrestler needs to apply for leave to the chief coach first and he, in turn, will send it to the WFI which forwards it to the TOPS and a final approval comes to the local authorities.

“Most of the wrestlers are self-disciplined as they know it well as what disciplines mean to them for their performance but still there are few who are serious offenders. The WFI too has taken a strong stand on the issue and I am sure not allowing 10 wrestlers to participate in the trials on Friday would give a strong message to everyone,” coach said.

Rating Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik as one of the most disciplined wrestlers in India, Yadav said others should learn from her. “Whether it’s a camp, trials or participation in Nationals, Sakshi doesn’t miss anything that’s the reason for her success in the past. Others should learn from her,” he added.

Besides Sakshi, other elite athletes, including Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat, Pooja Dhanda, Divya Kakaran, Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik and several youngsters, especially the ranking series medallists too would be seen in action in the trials as the upcoming Asian Championships, scheduled to be held in Mongolia from April 19 to 24, will set the tone for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

With an overall total of 204 medals, including 23 gold, 70 silver and 111 bronzes in both men and women categories across all 34 editions of Asian Championships so far, India have been a force to reckon with. Coach Yadav is confident to see the medals tally swelling further.

“Both Anshu and Sonam are fit now and have joined the camp early this month and I am sure that we are going to have a strong team for the Mongolia event. We will get too many young faces in the side. They have been training hard and are focussed on their game plans too,” said Yada. “The success at the Asian Championship would help us draw our plans accordingly for a rich medal haul at both Commonwealth and Asian Games.”

The coach conceded that there have been no drastic changes in the training routines since he took over almost a month and a half back. “In fact, I myself am going through the observation phase and running the old programme. Making a drastic change just before the Mongolia event would be a risky affair, but I shall change my strategy as I am looking forward to success at the CWG and the Asian Games.”

On his rapport with elite athletes, Yadav said since he had done enough coaching at the Pro Wrestling League, he didn’t face any problems when he started his stint in the second week of February this year. “I have a good relationship with most of them and I don’t allow a wrestler to feel neglected. For me, everyone is equal at the training.”

On future planning, Yadav said he would request WFI for wrestlers' training in Turkey and the USA before the Asian Games.

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