WFI to conduct IPL-type wrestling in India: Dushayant

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Jammu, Apr 28: Taking a leaf out of the Indian Premier League's book, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has decided to conduct an IPL-like championship tentatively in the month of November-December.

"To highlight the game of wrestling in the country, we have decided to organise an IPL-type championships and matches in wrestling across the country between November-December this year," WFI president, Dushanayat Sharma told reporters here today.

Sharma, who was recently elected to the post, said the WFI has shortlisted 8 states for conducting these matches and championships on the pattern of IPL.

"We hope to get a major response and give a major fillip to the game of wrestling in the country," Sharma said.

"We had outstanding performances in Asian and Commonwealth Games. Now Olympics is my next target," Sharma said.

He further said that "in preparation for the 2012 London Games, camps are on in full swing and wrestlers are sweating day and night to compete in the preliminary rounds to qualify for the prestigious championship".

Asserting that Indian wrestlers are toiling hard, he hoped for a better future for them.

He said that the WFI will also hold various championships across the country to give the sport and the wrestlers a boost.

Referring to the future of sport in his own state of Jammu and Kashmir, Sharma said, "I assure the macho sport will get a facelift in the state."

Sharma said wrestling is one of the most favourite sports in the rural belts of the country and it would surely get a boost in the coming days.

"It is an honour for me that I got an opportunity to serve the game in which I excelled and represented the nation at international level," he said.

Sharma was elected as president on April 15 after he defeated Punjab DIG Katara Singh.

The man, who himself had clinched a bronze medal in World Wrestling Championship many years ago, further said, "Jammu and Kashmir has no dearth of raw talent but wrestling here is not being acknowledged the way it should be. Now it would soon get a facelift."

"Though the wrestlers in Jammu and Kashmir are practising in ''dangals'', they need better infrastructure besides exposure on wrestling so that they compete at national and international events," he said.

PTI

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