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WFI’s Oversight Committee clears 27 wrestlers for 2nd Ranking Series

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) India’s Greco-Roman wrestler Ashu, who won a bronze medal in the Men’s 67kg category at the 2023 Zagreb Open held in Croatia earlier this month, will hope to gain more ranking points when he takes part in the 2nd Ranking Series ‘Ibrahim-Moustafa’ tournament.

Ashu, who is India’s top hope in Greco-Roman wrestler, was on Sunday included by the Oversight Committee set up by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), in the squad to participate in the upcoming 2nd Ranking Series ‘Ibrahim-Moustafa’ tournament.

The committee has cleared a 43-member Indian contingent, including 27 wrestlers, for the event, which would take place in Alexandria, Egypt from February 23-26./ It will be crucial to gain ranking points for better seeding at the Senior Asian Championships 2023 and the Senior World Championships 2023.

The medal Ashu won on February 5 in Zagreb is India’s second medal in the wrestling ranking series with the first medal being won by U-23 World Champion Aman Sehrawat in the men’s 57kg freestyle category. Ashu defeated Lithuanian Adomas Grigaliunas (5-0) in the bronze medal playoffs match.

The Indian team consists of nine Freestyle Wrestlers, eight Women Wrestlers, and 10 Greco-Roman Wrestlers along with 16 coaches and support staff.

The 27 wrestlers will also include three Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) Wrestlers — Ashu (67 kg GR), Bhateri (65 Kg WW) and Sujeet (65 Kg FS).

Asian championships bronze medallist Sushma Shokeen too has been included while other Greeco Roman wrestlers Manjeet, Ankit Gulia, and Narinder Cheema too have found a place in the squad.

Talking about the participation of the Indian team, Olympic medallist and chairperson of the Oversight committee MC Mary Kom said, “We want to ensure that the sport and the athletes do not suffer and more and more wrestlers get international exposure, so they can have the opportunity to compete against the best in the world.”

So far as many as nine current and former World Championship gold medallists have registered for the 2nd Ranking series.

Some of the top names in women’s and freestyle wrestling like Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya, Deepak Punia and Bajrang Punia have not been pressed into action in this event.

The squad:

Greco Roman: Manjeet (55 Kg), Vikram Krushnath Kurade (60 kg), Karanjeet (62 kg), Nitin (63 kg), Ashu (67 kg), Ankit Gulia (72 kg), Sajan (77kg), Rohit Dahiya (82 kg), Narinder Cheema (97 kg), Naveen (130 kg).

Women’s team: Sushma Shokeen (55kg), Sito (57 kg), Simran (59 kg), Sumitra (62 kg), Bhateri (65 kg), Radhika (68 kg), Reetika (72 kg), Kiran (76 kg).

Freestyle Men: Udit (57 kg), Pankaj (61 kg), Sujeet (65 kg), Sagar Jaglan (74 kg), Pardeep (79 kg), Jonty Kumar (86 kg), Pruthviraj Patil (92 kg), Sahil (97 kg), Dinesh (125 kg)