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Phogat shares undated letter, seeking additional time and not exemption from Asian Games trials

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New Delhi, June 25 (PTI): Vinesh Phogat on Sunday posted an undated letter on social media to prove that the six protesting wrestlers did not demand exemption from Asian Games trials and they sought only time till August for preparation.

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Vinesh shared a picture of the letter, which mentions six wrestlers, including herself  for some extra time for training ahead of the trials.

The six protesting wrestlers were handed one-bout trials by the IOA ad-hoc panel, a move that was criticised by several established and upcoming wrestlers as they demanded fair trials for everyone.

Vinesh, though, did not say if they are willing to appear in full trials, like all other wrestlers.

“It is requested to you that due to their participation in the wrestlers’ protest, the below mentioned wrestlers need some additional time to prepare for the trials for the Asian Games and the World Championships,” the undated letter, addressed to Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, read.

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The request was made for protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia (65kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), her husband Satyawart Kadian (97kg), Sangeeta Phogat (57kg), Jitender Kumar (86kg) and Vinesh (53kg) herself.

“Hence it is a request to you that trials must be held for these wrestlers after August 10, 2023,” the letter, signed by all six wrestlers mentioned, added.

Along with sharing the letter, Vinesh wrote on her Twitter page, “The protesting wrestlers had only requested to postpone the date of the trials, since due to our participation in the protests for the last six months, we did not get enough time for practice.

“We understand that this is a serious matter, which is why we are sharing this letter with you. The enemy is trying to break the unity among the wrestlers, we cannot let them have success,” Vinesh added.

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It has been learnt that coaches Gian Singh and Ashok Garg, who were added to the IOA ad-hoc panel, had sought exemption for six wrestlers.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is supposed to give ‘entries by name’ to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) of all the Indian squads by July 15.

To accommodate the wrestlers’ request for August 10 trials, it also approached OCA for deadline extension. The OCA is yet to respond to the request.


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