No female physio for three Rio-bound Indian women wrestlers

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New Delhi, July 14: India is sending above 100 athletes, it's largest ever contingent, to participate in Rio Olympics 2016 starting in August. Nation has high hopes from the strong Indian contingent, which could rewrite history. 

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For the first time, the Indian contingent comprises three Indian women wrestlers, but, surprisingly, they will not get the services of a female physiotherapist in Rio. All eight wrestlers i.e. five men and three women will have to avail the services of just one physio.

Babita Kumari with gold medal after medal ceremony of the women's Freestyle Wrestling 55kg Final match at the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre during the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow

As per a TOI report, three physios are attached to the Indian wrestling contingent training at Sonipat. The men's Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers are being looked after by two physios, Brajesh Kumar and Dhirendra Pratap, while Rucha Kashalkar is women's team physio. But off these, only Brajesh Kumar will be accompanying the Indian wrestlers to Rio.

This is the first occasion when three women wrestlers will represent India at the Olympics. Vinesh Phogat will fight in the 48kg freestyle category, her cousin Babita, gold medallist at CWG 2014 at Glasgow, will wrestle in the 53kg freestyle category while grappler Sakshi Malik participate in the 58kg freestyle category. All three have bright chances of winning the Olympic medal for India.

Vinesh, who recently won the gold in the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul, feels it's important to have a female physio at Rio.

"We girls would be more comfortable having a female physiotherapist with us in Rio. The current physio - Rucha - has been with us for a significant period of time and the best part is that she devotes all her time to the women wrestlers. In a tournament of the stature of Olympics, it's important that the women wrestlers have a dedicated physio for them," Vinesh was quoted as saying.

However, a formal request has been made by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to the Sports Authority of India and Sports Ministry to add one more physiotherapist in the Indian wrestling contingent bound for Rio. But there is no response yet.

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