Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia Address Criticism on Trial Exemption for Asian Games

Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia recently responded to criticism they received for being granted trial exemptions for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou. In a joint live session on Facebook, they addressed the accusations made by wrestler Antim Panghal, who questioned their direct entry into the squad without participating in trials.

Vinesh Phogat clarified that they are not against trials and acknowledged Antim’s right to raise concerns. However, she emphasized that they are also fighting for their right to exemption, as they have dedicated two decades to wrestling and have put in immense hard work.

The wrestlers’ exemption from trials was upheld by the Delhi High Court, dismissing the petitions filed by Antim Panghal and Sujeet Kalkal. Bajrang Punia supported Vinesh, stating that she has not lost any match so far and will continue to excel against the challengers.

Bhupender Singh Bajwa, a member of the Indian Olympic Association’s ad-hoc committee, reaffirmed that the exemption given to Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia aligns with the organization’s policies. He stated that exemptions are granted to protect good players from injuries.

The Asian Games are scheduled to commence on September 23, and both Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia will represent India in their respective weight categories.

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