Wrestling’s Weekly RoundUp: Top 10 big stories from this week to keep you updated

By   - 11/07/2020

Not much happened this week in the world of wrestling but it still had enough to pack a punch. The biggest from this week was WFI’s announcement of giving chance to juniors at the national trials in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics. Another breaking story was that elite wrestlers are not keen on returning to the national camp anytime soon.

Here are the top 10 breaking news from this week:

1) Elite wrestlers not ready to join national camp
Elite wrestlers have expressed their reservation on returning to the national camp as Sports Authority of India (WFI) aims at resuming it. The governing body had contacted the grapplers to ask their opinion before taking the final call. The athletes have shown reluctance towards the idea, citing the covid-19 situation in India. “The situation is still bad and therefore I am not ready to join the camp for now,” says Asian Championship bronze medallist Anshu Malik. The wrestler is currently training with her coach Jagdeesh at Chaudhary Bharat Singh Memorial Sports School, Nidani, Haryana. “Even if we return to the camp we would have to go out to get stuff and that would get us in danger. I had received the call from the federation, and I said ‘no’ to them,” she said adding that it would be wise to hold the camp next month.

2) Incumbent president Nenad Lalovic to re-run to UWW elections
The official candidacies for the 2020 United World Wrestling Bureau elections have been received and confirmed. There are seven positions up for re-election in 2020, including six seats on the Bureau and the position of UWW President. Five incumbents have submitted their candidacy for re-election  while nine new candidacies have been received for Bureau positions. Successful candidates serve a six-year term on the Bureau. Incumbent President Nenad LALOVIC (SRB) will be running un-opposed for re-election. The election will be his second six-year term as President.

Read full news: Incumbent president Nenad Lalovic to re-run to UWW elections

3) Bajrang Punia shift base to south India for training

In February, after winning bronze at the Asian Championships, Bajrang Punia and his coach Shako Bentinidis were all set to begin their Tokyo Olympic preparations. But the covid-19 outbreak had put all their plans on the backburner. Punia on many occasions has claimed that he ‘was ready to compete in the first week of August’. However, due to the pandemic, he had to settle with training at his apartment in Sonepat, Haryana. Cut forward to July, as the lockdown which was imposed on March 23 has started to ease, he has moved to Inspire Institute of Sport in Vijaynagar to train. “We (Jitender and Bajrang) used to be at our apartment and train. We decided to come to IIS centre once the lockdown eased and domestic flights resumed,” he said.

Read full news: Bajrang Punia shift base to south India for training

4) WFI ready to give juniors a chance at national trials next year

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has finally put rest to the speculations if there will be fresh trials for the Olympic Qualifiers. “There will be fresh trials for the Olympic Qualifiers. With one year to go, there will be many wrestlers who be ready to challenge the current crop Vinod Tomar, WFI assistant secretary said. The Indian governing body is thinking of holding the senior national championships in October should the situation permit and field some junior wrestlers in next year’s trials.

Read full news: WFI ready to give juniors a chance at national trials next year

5) Sonam Malik takes tennis lessons

Doing training of different sports is a common sight in cricket and football but never was the method used in a sport like wrestling until now. Sonam Malik, twin cadet world champion and currently the top-ranked wrestler in 62kg women’s weight category in India has taken up tennis as a part of her preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. The 18-year-old wrestler is currently training at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Sports Complex under the guidance of coach Ajmer Malik. Every week she along with other fellow wrestlers do one session of tennis to improve their skills on the mat. “It is more of a fitness and target training. It helps me improve my speed and reflexes,” she said.

Read full news: Sonam Malik takes tennis lessons

6) Japan team returns to training

It was hardly a typical start to a Japan national team training camp. For one thing, there were only eight wrestlers. But these are not typical times. In the midst of a global pandemic, the fact that Japan was finally able to return to the mat for the first time in 3 1/2 months was a major step forward as the host nation begins long-term preparation for the Tokyo Olympics postponed to the summer of 2021. “I’m really happy to see the national team members again after so long,” said Yukako KAWAI, one of four Olympic team members participating in the women’s camp that started July 2. “Up to now we had camps about once a month and while we are not back to usual, I’m happy that we can wrestle here again.”

Read full news: Japan team returns to training

7) Thrice Asian champ battles covid-19

Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestler Hossein Nouri was admitted to the hospital after getting diagnosed with Covid-19. The wrestler was tested positive for coronavirus in his hometown Karaj but was transferred to Tehran after his condition worsened. There has been no latest update on his health yet.

Read full news: Three-time Asian champion diagnosed with Covid-19, gets admitted in hospital after condition worsened

8) Pooja Dhanda’s new goals ahead of Tokyo Olympics

2018 was the break out year for Pooja Dhanda. The wrestler won the silver medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games followed by a bronze at the Budapest worlds. But a series of injuries post that halted her rise to the top. She spent the majority of her 2019 in rehabilitation missing out on 2019 world championships and a chance for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. However, the deferment of the Games due to Covid-19 has come as a silver lining for the wrestler who has now set her sight for the national trials ahead of the quadrennial extravaganza. “It has given me time to tune up my body and polish my skills. My main focus is to stay healthy and gradually build up for challenging domestic trials next year,” she said reported Hindustan Times.

Read full news: Pooja Dhanda’s new goals ahead of Tokyo Olympics

9) Narsingh eyes return with a bang

Narsingh Yadav will probably be most benefited amongst Indian wrestlers if the world championships are held this year. The Uttar Pradesh wrestler is serving a four-year dope ban which will end by the end of July. The announcement for the possible world championships in December has come like a silver lining for the wrestler. “It is good. Yes, it is true that I have not competed in any international competition but I have been training every day. I think I am ready,” said the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

Read full news : Narsingh eyes return with a bang

10) Women’s wrestling coach Andrew Cook reacts on his abrupt sacking

“Burned deeply” by his abrupt exit as Indian women’s wrestling coach, Andrew Cook is still trying to figure out what went wrong in his stint during which he did what was required of him. The American had joined the national camp in early 2019 but fell out with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) after he left for Seattle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read full news: Women’s wrestling coach Andrew Cook reacts on his abrupt sacking

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