IOA states the wrestling contingent for the Asian Games selection will be done before the team leaves for China

Earlier it was expected that the wrestling contingent would be announced on July 23, based on results of the trials to be held over two days in New Delhi.

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Payal Debnath
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IOA states the wrestling contingent for the Asian Games selection will be done before the team leaves for China

The ad-hoc committee had announced exceptions for Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, who would get automatic places in their categories. Image- Olympics.com

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Wednesday announced that the process for the wrestling team in the upcoming Asian Games selection will take place before the team departs for China. This has increased the cloud of confusion around the wrestling contingent and the participation of the football teams.

Also Read: Antim Panghal moves to Delhi High Court to challenge Bajrang Punia & Vinesh Phogat's direct qualification to the Asian Games

The ad-hoc committee had announced exceptions for Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, who would get automatic places in their categories. Image- Olympics.com

"To maximize the chances of sending the most competitive wrestling team to the Asian Games 2022, the final selection of wrestlers will be made prior to departure of the team for the competition. This approach will enable us to assess the athletes' current form, consider their recent performances, and take into account any last-minute developments that may have impacted the selection process." The IOA release stated.

Traditionally, the process of selecting athletes for major sporting events involves a meticulous and transparent selection procedure. Athletes usually go through rigorous trials, competitions, and evaluations by national governing bodies and federations to earn their spot on the national team. However, the IOA's recent announcement has raised eyebrows and fueled speculation about the motives behind this last-minute change.

It was earlier expected that the wrestling contingent would be announced on July 23, based on the results of the trials to be held over two days in New Delhi. The Wrestling Federation of India's ad-hoc committee had announced exceptions for Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, who would get automatic places in their categories. Reacting to WFI's announcement, some wrestlers like Antim Panghal, who would have contested in Vinesh's category, lashed out at the decision.

Also Read: WFI ad-hoc panel gave direct Asian Games Entries To Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat

Furthermore, the IOA stressed that the criteria for sending athletes in team sports like football, basketball, handball and volleyball would be dependent on the basis of rankings. "In team events, the focus will be on selecting sports that have achieved a top 8 ranking in Asia in the last one year preceding the Asian Games. This approach will guarantee that team sports with a proven track record of excellence and competitiveness in the region gets the opportunity to represent India." the release said.

Many wrestlers have expressed their dismay, questioning the timing of this decision. The IOA's clarification on the Asian Games selection criteria adds further confusion to how the team will look. Athletes who have been training hard and competing for a chance to represent their country now face uncertainty. They have to wait for a decision that may come after they've already left for the Asian Games.

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