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Wrestlers Ravi, Deepak’s Olympic preparations in doldrums | More sports News – Times of India

June 29, 2021

NEW DELHI: Olympic-bound freestyle wrestlers, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia‘s preparations have suffered as the duo is stuck in Warsaw in Poland.
Both Ravi (57kg) and Deepak (86kg) are without any quality sparring partners since their arrival in the city for the Polish Open tournament (June 8-13) and have largely been forced to concentrate on building muscle strength rather than fine-tuning their wrestling moves.
It’s been more than two weeks since the tournament has ended but they are still waiting for their onward journey to Russia to happen. The two are supposed to join compatriot Bajrang Punia (65kg), who has been training for the Olympics in the foothills of Vladikavkaz city.
On Sunday, the two grapplers and their coaches – Kamal Malikov (Ravi) and Murad Gaidarov (Deepak) – were turned away from the Warsaw international airport after they failed to produce a security clearance document issued by the Russian government. The team got their visas for Russia on Saturday morning from the Indian embassy in Poland and were booked on a flight to Moscow and then Vladikavkaz. But the wrestlers and coaches were told by the airlines staff that they can’t board the flight in the absence of the document issued by the interior ministry of Russia. The wrestlers are now back in their hotel, with no early resolution in sight.
Thankfully, Bajrang and his coach Shako Bentinidis were always clear about skipping the Polish tournament and stationing themselves in Vladikavkaz, where several top wrestlers have been training. But Ravi and Deepak opted to go to Poland, primarily to earn a favourable seeding for the Olympics. Bajrang’s skipping the meet cost him the top seed for Tokyo but his priority was to get some high-quality training and competition stints ahead of the Games. Women’s freestyle grappler Vinesh Phogat, who participated in the Polish meet and won the gold, has been accorded the top billing for Tokyo. But she had planned her European training trip better.

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