Tokyo bound Indian wrestlers Ravi Dahiya (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) have been barred from training in Russia for the time being. The wrestlers will have to train in Warsaw till their visas get clearance from the Russian government. They are eager to join Bajrang Punia (65 kg) in Vladikavkaz to continue their preparatory camp for the Tokyo Olympics.
“We are still trying to get a clearance for their Russia visa but there has not been any progress. We are hoping the problem gets solved as soon as possible. We have requested Poland’s Indian embassy to issue the visa at the earliest,” a WFI official told Sportskeeda.
Both the wrestlers were part of the Poland Open Ranking series. Ravi Dahiya bagged a silver medal in that tournament but Deepak Punia did not feature due to an elbow injury. Dahiya who looks to be in fine form believes that training in Russia will increase their level of assessment and will help them find out their flaws a lot easier. He also added how Russia has some top quality sparrers who will help them improve their game.
“In India, we have a different style of training compared to countries like Russia and Hungary. These countries have good in-ground wrestling and leg defense and attacks, it will help me a lot in my Tokyo Olympics preparations,” Dahiya quipped.
Even after a few weeks since the Poland Open the Indian wrestlers have not yet started their formal training for the Tokyo Olympics. It is not only an issue for the Wrestling Federation of India but also a problem of vaccination from COVID-19. The duo has received their first dose of Covishield but there are question marks over its availability in Russia.
“They have received their first dose. We do not know if Covidshield is available in Russia or not. If it’s not available, Ravi and Deepak will have to return to India to get their second dose,” the WFI official said.
Lastly, Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Deepak Punia and Vinesh Phogat ( 53 kg women’s wrestling) have been seeded for the Tokyo Olympics. The other unseeded Indian wrestlers include Seema Bisla (50 kg), Anshu Malik (57 kg) and Sonam Malik (62 kg).