The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has selected two sets of wrestlers for the Asian championship to be held here from April 18 to 22.
In the selection trials held at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre, Sonepat, on Thursday, the WFI picked an extra set of wrestlers as back-up for the first choice grapplers.
“We have to enter one wrestler in each weight. In the event of an injury to any of the wrestlers in the first team, we will have a man ready for that spot,” said WFI secretary general Raj Singh.
In freestyle, the focus was on younger wrestlers after Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt opted to forego the Asian championship due to fitness issues.
Sushil and Yogeshwar, who had claimed medals in the London Olympics, had resumed training earlier this month after recovering from minor injuries. According to freestyle coach Vinod Kumar, they preferred to focus on their fitness and training with an aim to participate in the World championship to be held in Budapest in September.
Among the prominent names, Asian bronze winner Amit Kumar, Commonwealth championship gold medallist Rajneesh Dalal, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Narsingh Yadav and Asian championship bronze medallist Parveen Rana had no problems in making the cut. However, Dalal and Rana were selected as second choice wrestlers.
There were not many surprises in Greco Roman either as accomplished wrestlers like Rajender Kumar, Ravinder Singh, Sunil Rana, Manoj Kumar and Dharmender Dalal (all 2010 Commonwealth Games medallists) made the grade.
A young Naveen getting past the seasoned Dalal, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, in 120kg was a notable ‘upset’ in Greco Roman.
Raj Singh said that the selection trials for women would be held in the first week of April.
The selected wrestlers: Freestyle: 55kg: 1. Amit Kumar, 2. Nitin; 60kg: 1. Bajrang, 2. Rajneesh Dalal; 66kg: 1. Amit Dhankar, 2. Arun; 74kg: 1. Deepak, 2. Parveen Rana; 84kg: 1. Narsingh Yadav, 2. Pawan Kumar; 96kg: 1. Parvesh Kumar Chikara, 2. Sumit; 120kg: 1. Hitesh, 2. Navneet Sharma.
Greco Roman: 55kg: 1. Rajender Kumar, 2. Gaurav Sharma; 60kg: 1. Ravinder Singh, 2. Anil Kumar; 66kg: 1. Sunil Rana, 2. Suresh Yadav; 74kg: 1. Rajbir Chikara, 2. Ravinder Khatri; 84kg: 1. Manoj Kumar, 2. Harpreet Singh; 96kg: 1. Bheem Singh, 2. Hardeep; 120kg: 1. Naveen, 2. Dharmender Dalal.