According to the revised selection procedure for the quadrennial extravaganza, the IOA ad hoc panel is likely to permit the state wrestling organisations to field meritorious candidates in the Asian Games trials even if they do not fulfil the requirement of becoming medal winners in one of the prescribed competitions.
The trials for the Asian Games are anticipated to take place in the third week of June. This week, a definitive date will be revealed. The Asian Games are scheduled to take place in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on 23 September after being postponed due to Covid-19 last year.
The WFI had last year established a policy that restricted participation in the trials to medal winners from national championships, national ranking events, the Federation Cup, and international competitions.
Bhupendra Singh Bajwa, a member of the Ad-hoc Panel, had first proposed open trials; however, the coaches and referees encouraged them to limit them to just medal hopefuls, according to IOA sources.
“It would have been very difficult to finish the trials in the stipulated time if open trials were conducted. It was proposed that if any state association feels it has a worthy candidate who does not meet the criteria of being a medallist, it can field such a candidate in the Asian Games trials,” the source stated. WFI has 25 state units affiliated with it. If all the state associations field candidates of their choice in each of the 10 categories in all three styles, the number of participants will rise considerably.
Bajwa, several wrestling coaches, referees, and SAI officials attended the meeting on Monday. It was the second such meeting after the IOA formed the panel to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).