Spotlight on Vinesh in Budapest Ranking Series event ahead of Asian Games trials

Budapest, Jul 14 (PTI) Vinesh Phogat’s performance will be followed keenly at the Polyák Imre & Varga János Memorial here on Saturday as she is set to return to competitive wrestling after a 10-month gap during which she also spearheaded the protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Vinesh and five other women wrestlers, including Sangeeta Phogat, have accused Singh of sexually abusing them.

The Delhi police has filed a chargesheet in the case against 66-year-old Singh, who is also a BJP MP.

The last time Vinesh competed was in September 2022 when she won a bronze at the World Championships in Budapest.

However, she has entered the 55kg competition in the last UWW Ranking Series of the season instead of her usual 53kg division.

The 55kg category consists of 11 wrestlers as against 22 in 53kg division, which features strong grapplers such as Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Qianyu Pang of China, 2021 world championships bronze medallist Katarzyna Krawczyk from Poland and Tokyo Games bronze medallist Bolortuya Bat Ochir of Mongolia among others.

Vinesh will open her campaign with a qualification round against Areana Louise Villaescusa of the USA and if she crosses the first hurdle the Indian will be up against Li Deng of China in the quarterfinals.

Sangeeta Phogat will be India’s lone contender in the 59kg and will open her campaign against Jennifer Page Rogers of the USA.

While Sarita Mor (women’s 59kg), Sujeet (men’s 65kg), and Greco-Roman wrestler Sunil Kumar (87kg) were scheduled to compete initially but later withdrew from the tournament.

The six protesting wrestlers had sought time till August10 to prepare for the Asian Games trials, saying they are not in best physical shape to appear in trials due to their protest.

The IOA ad-hoc panel will conduct the trials on June 22-23 but it is unclear if the six protesting wrestlers will appear or not.

Source: PTI News


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