Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik to begin training at national camp in October

The national camp for women wrestlers in the Olympic weight categories will be held from October to December in Lucknow.

By Rahul Venkat

The national camp for women’s wrestlers will begin from October 10 and will go on till December 31 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Lucknow, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) announced on Tuesday.

It was originally supposed to begin on September 1.

The camp will be held in the six Olympic weight categories – 50kg, 53kg, 57kg, 62kg, 68kg and 76kg, the attendance for which is considered mandatory for selection to various events.

“We are starting the camp from October 10 in Lucknow. The strength of the camp will remain the same, three wrestlers in each of the six Olympic weight categories,” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told the Press Trust of India.

In accordance with SAI’s safety and health guidelines, the attendees will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival to Lucknow and test negative before they are allowed to take to the mat for training.

Tomar also confirmed that Tokyo-bound Vinesh Phogat will be a part of the national camp after she recovered from COVID-19.

Phogat, who was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award this year, had tested positive for the coronavirus last month and was unable to attend the virtual National Sports Awards.

“Vinesh wanted to train abroad but this is the best we could do in current circumstances,” Tomar added.

Sakshi Malik stakes her claim

The camp will also allow Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik the opportunity to stake her claim to make the Indian wrestlers’ team for the Asian and World Olympic qualifiers next year.

Malik had seemingly been out of contention after a poor showing in the national trials but this could give her one more shot at having another go at the Olympics.

The WFI also announced that the men’s national camp, already underway at Sonepat, Haryana, will be extended to December 31.