A 17-member wrestling team, spearheaded by Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, has been named for the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament, to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan from March 18 to 20.
The team, consisting five in men’s freestyle, six in Greco-Roman and six in female wrestling, is likely to reach Astana on March 15.
In Men’s freestyle, all eyes will be on Yogeshwar to book an Olympic berth for India in 65kg category, while at least two out of four others in the fray—Rahul Aware (57kg), Somveer (86kg), Satyawart Kadiayan (97kg) and Hitender (125kg)
are also expected to qualify for the Rio Games.
Narsingh Yadav has already booked an Olympic berth in for India in 74kg division. He was the lone Indian who qualified for the Rio Games at the last year’s World Championship in Las Vegas.
London Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar could not fight during the last year’s World Championship due to an injury.
In Female wrestling, Phogat sisters—Vinesh (48kg) and Babita (53kg) -- and Sakshi Malik (58kg) stand a good chance of booking a quota place for the country in their respective weight categories.
After the crucial tournament in Astana, which is the first qualifying event for the Olympics this year, the team will head to Mongolia for another qualifying tournament -- 1st World Qualification tournament from April 20 to 24.
The last Olympic qualifier -- 2nd World Qualification tournament—is scheduled to be held in Istanbul from May 6-8.
Freestyle: Rahul Aware (57kg), Yogeshwar Dutt (65kg), Somveer (86kg), Satyawart Kadiyan (97kg), Hitender (125kg).
Greco-Roman: Ravinder Singh (59kg), Ravinder (66kg), Gurpreet Singh (75kg), Ravinder Khatri (85kg), Hardeep Singh (98kg), Naveen (130kg).
Female wrestling: Vinesh Phogat (48kg), Babita Kumari (53kg), Sakshi Malik (58kg), Anita (63kg), Navjot Kaur (67kg),