14-member squad for Asian Wrestling Championship

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Patiala, Feb 14 (UNI) A fourteen-member wrestling squad (seven each in Freestyle and Greco-Roman) will represent India in the forthcoming Asian Wrestling Championship (Olympic qualifying) slated for March 18 to 23 in Icheon, Korea.

The three-member selection committee, comprising G S Mander, President of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Raj Singh, Vice-President, WFI and Kartar Singh, Secretary-General, WFI, met here today after the trials conducted at the NIS, to announce the names of matmen.

The selected wrestlers are: Freestyle: Vinod Kumar (55 kg.), Yogeshwar Dutt (60 kg.):Haryana; Sushil Kumar (66kg.), Paramjit (75 kg.): RSPB; Parveen Shivale (84 kg.):SSCB: Naveen Mor (96 kg.):Haryana: Rajesh Tomar (120 kg.):RSPB.

Greco-Roman: Rajender (55kg.):RSPB: Ravinder (60 kg.):RSPB: Gurbinder Singh (66 kg.):Punjab: Naresh Kumar (74 kg.): Delhi: Manjit (84 kg.):Haryana:Ashok Kumar (96 kg.): SSCB and Parvinder Singh (120kg.): Punjab.

The coaches who will accompany the Indian wrestling contingent to Korea are-- P R Sondhi and Vinod Kumar (Freestyle), A N Yadav and Mahabir Prasad (Greco-Roman) The trials were conducted today after 30 wrestlers in Freestyle and 28 wrestlers in Greco-Roman had undergone intensive training in the national camp which got under way here at the NIS under the supervision of eight coaches.

Incidentally, the Indian wrestlers will participate in four other Olympic qualifying tournaments (two each in Freestyle and Greco-Roman) to vie for a berth in the Indian contingent for Beijing Olympics, according to Kartar Singh.

The tournaments are: Freestyle: Switzerland (April 19 and 20), Poland (May 3 and 4) Greco-Roman: Rome( May 9 to 11) and Novi Sad, SRB (May 23 to 25).

Mr Kartar Singh said ''We hope that at least four wrestlers will qualify for Beijing Olympics.'' Mr Mander, who took over as President of WFI on April 22, 2007, was candid about the decline in Indian wrestling. The court case and factional feud for a long time has taken Indian wrestling a step backward but this sport will soon again be a force to reckon with, Mr Mander added.


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