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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Olympic-bound wrestler Deepak Punia pulls out of Poland Open due to hand injury

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Tokyo-bound Indian wrestler Deepak Punia pulled out of the Poland Open on Tuesday due to a hand injury. Punia was to take the mat in Poland for the 86kg event but forfeited his quarterfinal against American Zahid Valencia.

It has been learnt that the 2019 World championships silver-winner had suffered the injury two-three days before leaving for Warsaw during practice.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) confirmed the injury sustained by Deepak.

“Yes, we have given him a choice. We do not want to put pressure on wrestlers, the Olympics are near, so no point in taking risks,” said WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar.

Punia will remain with the team till July 5 for the training camp that has been organised by the Polish Federation.

With Punia pulling out, only three Indians are now left in the competition.

Ravi Dahiya, who qualified for the Games in 57kg, will compete in the 61kg category in this event.

Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and Anshu Malik (57kg) will compete on Friday in the women’s event.

Bajrang Punia had also decided to miss the event, preferring to train in Russia instead. Seema Bisla (50kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) did not travel to Warsaw as they are also nursing their respective injuries. Sumit Malik (125kg) has been suspended by the world body for failing a dope test in Sofia, where had made the cut for the Tokyo Games.

The WFI is also trying to negotiate with Turkey, Romania and Russia to organise training camps for India’s Olympic-bound wrestlers.

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