Aman Sehrawat asserted his supremacy in the men’s 57kg free-style category as he clinched a World Championship berth while seasoned Olympian Deepak Punia skipped the national trials in Patiala on Saturday. Aman defeated Atish Todkar in the final to make it double joy for him this year. Besides Aman, Akash Dahiya will be representing India in the 61kg after getting the better of Neeraj, while Anuj Kumar will be seen in action in the 65kg category, where Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia ply his trade. Bajrang had already decided to skip the world trials to train abroad for the Asian Games.
Bajrang, his close aide Jitender Kinha and Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik’s husband Satyawart Kadian, all those, who were a part of the sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar demanding arrest of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on allegations of sexual harassment, didn’t take part in the trials.
But it turned out to be a double whammy for Vishal Kaliraman as his dreams of representing the country in both Asian Games and World Championships was shattered.
Kaliraman won the Asian Games trials but was kept on standby after Bajrang was given a direct entry.
Kaliraman, however, has an outside hope after Bajrang on Thursday said that he would withdraw from the Asian Games if all the panchayats that backed him during the protest at Jantar Mantar ask him to do so during the Khap Mahapanchayat on September 10.
Elsewhere, Abhimanyu beat Mulayam Yadav to seal the world championships place in the 70kg, while Naveen defeated Sagar Jaglan to win the 74kg trials.
In the 79kg men’s freestyle, Sachin More defeated Rohit Guliya to seal his ticket to Budapest.
World championships silver medallist and Bimingham Commonwealth Games gold winner Deepak also skipped the trials in the 86kg category after the Sports Authority of India permitted him to train abroad to prepare for the Asian Games.
In Deepak’s absence, Sandeep Singh got the better of Jonty Kumar to win the 86kg trial.
Pruthviraj Patil won the 92kg category beating Gourav Baliyan, while Sahil clinched the 97kg spot defeating Vicky.
Sumit Malik beat Akash Antil to win the 125kg freestyle spot.
The World Championships will be held in Belgrade, Serbia from September 16.
The two-day trials ended on Saturday.
It remains to be seen whether the selected grapplers will be able to don India colours at the Worlds or compete under the United World Wrestling (UWW) banner after the world body banned the Wrestling Federation of India on Thursday.
UWW suspended the WFI for not conducting its elections on time, a development which will not allow Indian grapplers to compete at the World Championships under the Indian flag.
The Indian wrestlers will have to compete as ‘neutral athletes’ at the Olympic-qualifying World Championships, starting September 16 as the IOA ad-hoc panel for wrestling, led by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, were unable to honour the 45-day deadline for conducting the elections due to matter being sub-judice.
Selection trials result: Men’s Freestyle: 57kg Aman (RSPB), 61kg Akash Dahiya (SSCB), 65kg Anuj Kumar (Haryana), 70kg Abhimanyu (Delhi), 74kg Naveen (Haryana), 79kg Sachin More (Haryana), 86kg Sandeep Singh (Punjab), 92kg Pruthviraj Patil (SSCB), 97kg Sahil (Punjab), 125kg Sumit Malik (Haryana).
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