Bajrang, Deepak to skip world championships after SAI clears foreign training proposal

Bajrang Punia. PTI Photo

The Sports Ministry's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has cleared wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Deeepak Punia's proposals to miss the World Championships trials and train abroad till the Asian Games, after receiving desired fitness certificates from the two athletes.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) wanted Olympic-medallist wrestler Bajrang to attend the trials for the World Championships or provide fitness certificate, if he wants exemption from this week's exercise in Patiala.

Bajrang and Deepak are both willing to skip the trials for the World Championships in Belgrade from September 16, instead preferring long training stints to prepare of the Asian Games.

"On August 18, Bajrang's proposal to train in Kyrgyzstan from August 21 to September 28 along with coach, strength & conditioning expert, physiotherapist and sparring partner was put up for discussion in a wrestling sub-committee meeting, where Olympian Deepak Punia's proposal for training camp in Russia from August 23 to September 28 (35 days) along with his coach & physiotherapist was also discussed," the SAI said in a statement on Tuesday.

"During the discussion, the committee gave in-principal approval to both Bajrang and Deepak's proposal subject to providing a fitness certificate before going abroad along with a justifiable reason for not participating in Senior World Championship Trials.

"Following this, Bajrang vide email on August 19 gave his reasons for not participating in World Championships trials. Additionally, medical fitness assessment was conducted by SAI on August 21st at NCOE Sonepat wherein he has been declared fit to play/train in competitive sports," it said.

The World Championships is the first qualification tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Even though they have approved the wrestlers' foreign training trip, the SAI is said to be unhappy that two of the country's top wrestlers want to skip the world championships. .