The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will wait and watch before finding a solution to tackle the changed scenario arising out of the International Wrestling Federation’s (FILA) announcement to introduce new weight categories for the next Olympics.
In order to facilitate larger representation of women in the Olympics, FILA has reduced one weight each from men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman and added two weight classes to women’s wrestling for the 2016 Olympics. So, all the three styles will have six weights each. However, the addition of two weights to each style in events such as the world championships, World Cups and continental championships will provide wrestlers more opportunities to win medals.
Top Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, have said that the change would affect them. WFI secretary Raj Singh said there was enough time to get used to these changes.
“There is no doubt that we are good in lower weights and this change will affect us. But it is the same for all countries and we have to find a solution. The 2015 world championship, the qualification event for the Rio Olympics, is still one-and-a-half years away. By that time, our wrestlers would have adjusted to the new weights,” Raj Singh said on Thursday.
“Before that, we have to think about the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year. As per the old categorisation, these Games have already decided to include competitions in seven weights and it is too late to make any change. But, we are not sure.”
Raj Singh said the WFI would try to maximise the benefit from the new weights. “We will organise camps and exposure trips to see how our wrestlers perform in new weights. Besides, we have to focus on the two women’s categories to be introduced at the Olympics,” he said.