India’s wrestling nursery, the Chhatrasal stadium will resume its service from next month. The Delhi government in its guidelines for lockdown 4.0 had decided to re-open the stadiums for sports activities without an audience. Keeping in line with the instructions, the stadium’s authority has decided to restart functioning from June 1. However, world medallist Deepak Punia is still reluctant to return to the akhara.
He has been training at the akhara since 2015 and is amongst the top wrestler produced by it. He had left the stadium right before the nation-wide lockdown was imposed and has been training for the Tokyo Games in his village in Jhajjar.
“I do not feel this is the right time to leave home and return to the stadium. It is risky and therefore I will stay put in my village,” he said.
For the first phase, the authorities have decided to allow 40 to 50 wrestlers to come back for training. However, they will only be permitted to train individually. “For now, we will only permit 40 to 50 wrestlers to train. They will only be allowed to train individually initially,” person with knowledge on the subject told WrestlingTV.
Twin Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar who is also the in-charge of Chhatrasal stadium said that all the precautions will be taken and after that, they will allow athletes to train. “We have started sanitizing the complex and making the ground ready. All the athletes have to take extra care and maintain extra precautions,” he told RepublicTV.
Chhatrasal is known for producing some of the biggest wrestlers of India. After giving Indian wrestling the likes of Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, it has given three more Olympic-bound athletes in Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and Punia.