CWG decision to drop wrestling events upsets Indians

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS,

New Delhi : Indian wrestlers, who have bagged a handful of medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, are upset and angry at the dropping of Greco-Roman and women’s divisions from the next edition at Glasgow four years hence. They see it as a “conspiracy” of the European countries and Australia.

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“It is totally unfair to Indian wrestlers. We have put in a lot of hard work in the past few years. We have also won many competitions. I see no logic in eliminating any form of wrestling from the Commonwealth Games,” Greco-Roman wrestler Sanjay Kumar, who won gold in the 74kg category, told IANS.

Sanjay said the wrestlers and coaches are upset with the decision and they feel that the “European countries and Australia masterminded it to keep us out as they are scared of facing us”.

“Indian wrestlers are very strong and our counterparts in Australia and European countries have conspired to keep us out. It would be a big jolt to Indian wrestling if these two categories are not included in the Glasgow Games. We want our federation to fight for us and we are ready to support it,” he added.

Both Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling have debuted in the Delhi Games and India have done exceptionally well.

Greco-Roman wrestling is a major medal contributor here. So far, India have won four golds, one silver and one bronze in the category. In women’s wrestling, India have won one gold, one silver and one bronze so far.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president G.S. Mander said they are not happy with the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (CGF) decision to exclude Greco-Roman and women’s events from the Glasgow Games.

Mander said they would fight against the CGF’s decision and gather support from other countries.

“We are opposed to the decision of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and we will fight it out. I do not understand what is the harm in keeping Greco-Roman and women’s events in the Games. In fact, it will increase the competition and help churn out better talent,” Mander told IANS Friday.

“We have full support of the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) and wrestling associations of different countries. We are also discussing this issue with the representatives of different countries, who have come to New Delhi for the Games here.”

Chief national coach Hargobind Singh said there is a lot of confusion about wretsling in the Glasgow Games.

“There is a lot of confusion, we are not even sure about the inclusion of freestyle wrestling at Glasgow,” Hargobind told IANS.

“This is clear discrimination against Indian wrestlers, who are working so hard to win medals. Scotland is not a wrestling nation, so the organisers are not keen on its inclusion,” said Singh.