Three women wrestlers skip Hungary camp, to train on their own - Hindustan Times
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Three women wrestlers skip Hungary camp, to train on their own

ByAvishek Roy
Jun 13, 2024 10:34 PM IST

National coaches left with one wrestler after federation pays expenses for four members in invitational camp in Hungary

Three of the five women wrestlers who have qualified for the Paris Olympics and were scheduled to train at the ongoing international camp in Hungary to prepare for the Games have skipped training.

Antim Panghal(Hindustan Times)
Antim Panghal(Hindustan Times)

After participating at the International Ranking Series in Budapest (May 27-June 5), Antim Panghal, Anshu Malik and Reetika Hooda have returned to India citing various reasons, it has been learnt.

Vinesh Phogat and Nisha Dahiya are the only two wrestlers training at the Olympic Training Centre in Hungary from June 10-21. Vinesh is with her own set of support staff that include her coach Woller Akos, strength and conditioning coach Wayne Patrick Lombard, a physiotherapist and a sparring partner, besides her wrestler husband Somveer Rathi. The two-time Worlds medallist has plans to compete at the Grand Prix of Spain from July 5 to 7 in Madrid.

The other qualified wrestlers want to follow their individual training plans.

The women's camp in Hungary was planned by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on the recommendation of national coaches Virender Dahiya and Sonia Mor. WFI confirmed participation of Indian wrestlers after getting confirmation from them. WFI has paid for the stay (80euro per person per day) of the team of four wrestlers, two coaches and one physio for 16 days. However, the national coaches are now left with only one wrestler — Nisha Dahiya — to train. Around 50 wrestlers from 15 countries, mostly Paris Olympics quota winners, are participating in the training camp.

A WFI official said the three wrestlers gave various reasons to not participate in the camp. "The national coaches were of the opinion that the camp will be beneficial because our wrestlers did not have much international exposure this season. The wrestlers also confirmed their participation. But after the ranking series they changed their minds," said a senior WFI official on condition of anonymity.

"We can't force anyone to participate in a camp. WFI does not want to disturb their training plans either, so we have decided that we will support whatever proposals they are sending," the official added.

Anshu Malik is planning another trip to Japan starting next week. Aman Sehrawat, the only male wrestler to qualify, is also looking to train in Dagestan, Russia, with his personal coach and physio. "Everyone is sending their individual training plans to WFI. We are not stopping anyone," he said.

Antim, for one, competed in an international tournament after eight months and won silver in Hungary. "I needed time for recovery and I am more comfortable training here in Hisar, so I came back," said Antim, who will be competing in Paris in the 53kg weight class.

Anshu's father Dharamveer said she got good results after training in Japan and therefore they have decided to have another stint there before the Paris Olympics. Reetika, on the other hand, said she was under the weather. "I fell sick in Hungary and needed some rest. Right now, I will continue to train in my academy in Rohtak," said Reetika.

IOA and WFI came up with a joint statement on June 10, saying they will provide "extensive" support to the six wrestlers for Olympics preparation. "It will include coaches, physiotherapists, nutritionists, mental-conditioning coaches, and other essential staff..."

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