India’s Ravi Kumar Dahiya, the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, will not be participating in the World Wrestling Championships 2021 as he has not had enough time to practice for the trials scheduled in New Delhi next week.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya had won silver in the men’s freestyle 57kg category and has since been occupied with felicitation events organised across the country.
The world championships are to be held in Oslo, Norway from October 2 to 10, and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will conduct selection trials for the event on August 31. The 23-year old Dahiya said that he would only be able to begin training from September, and would therefore be skipping the trials.
"I don't want to be on the mat unprepared. What's the point in competing without enough practice? So I have to miss the world championships because I don't want to go to the trials without enough practice," Ravi Kumar Dahiya told PTI.
"I will try to compete in one or two tournaments before the season ends after I begin serious training from next month.”
Vinod Tomar, the WFI assistant secretary, said that everyone, including star wrestlers such as Ravi Kumar Dahiya, had to participate in the trials.
"We have to prepare the second line also. We have to give a chance to everyone to stake their claim to be on the national team, so all have to come to trials," Tomar said.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya backed the WFI, saying it was doing the right thing by calling for trials.
Meanwhile, wrestler Deepak Punia has also withdrawn from the world championships with a knee ligament injury. The 22-year old, who had just missed out on bronze in men’s freestyle 86kg at Tokyo 2020, is expected to be out of action for two months.
Bajrang Punia, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist in men’s freestyle 65kg, had earlier pulled out of the world championships, also due to a knee ligament injury.
Vinesh Phogat, Sonam Malik and Divya Kakran will be competing at the world championships selection trials, which will be held in New Delhi next Tuesday.