The clock is ticking as the Indian wrestling team for the 2023 Asian Games faces mounting uncertainty regarding its selection process. The final submission deadline for the list of athletes, recently confirmed to be on July 23, is fast approaching, causing tension and confusion among stakeholders.
Originally, the Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) had set July 15 as the deadline for submitting the athletes’ names. However, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) managed to negotiate a one-week extension, although a second extension request was denied.
Against this backdrop, trials are scheduled for July 22 and 23. However, it remains to be seen whether an additional round of trials will be accommodated, as demanded by six wrestlers who had previously raised objections against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The daunting task of streamlining the selection process now falls on the IOA and the Wrestling Federation of India’s ad-hoc committee. Still, a consensus appears elusive, leaving unanswered questions and fuelling speculation within the wrestling community.
A silent struggle of authority is evident as neither the IOA nor the ad-hoc committee seems to take decisive control over the situation. Kalyan Chaubey, CEO of the IOA, has refrained from commenting on the matter, stating that only the ad-hoc committee is authorized to do so.
On the other hand, Bhupinder Singh Bajwa, a member of the ad-hoc committee, has maintained a conspicuous silence despite several attempts to seek his comment. The evasive approach from both parties continues to exacerbate the situation, leaving the wrestling community and fans in suspense.
As the deadline looms, it is becoming increasingly crucial for the relevant authorities to act swiftly and decisively to resolve the selection process. An air of uncertainty has undeniably clouded the preparations for the Asian Games, and only a clear directive and cooperation from the IOA and the ad-hoc committee can dispel it. The wrestling team, their coaches, and indeed the entire nation are awaiting clarity, hoping for a resolution that would allow focus to return to the mat and the performance of athletes.