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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

We do not run from trials; good to see young people fighting for their rights: Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat | More sports news

NEW DELHI: vine phogat and Bajrang Puniafacing criticism for accepting the exemption from Asian Games Trialshe expressed his disappointment at being dragged into court by young fighters.

However, they also recognized the positive aspect of the situation, seeing the youth fighters stand up for their rights.
The controversy arose when the IOA ad hoc panel awarded Bajrang and Vinesh direct tickets to the Hangzhou Games, prompting an outcry in the wrestling fraternity.

Despite legal challenge from junior wrestlers Antim Panghal and Sujeet Kalkalhe Delhi High Court dismissed his request. Both Bajrang and Vinesh addressed the situation live on social media while away for training at different locations.

“We are not against trials. I cannot blame Antim. She is not wrong. She is fighting for her right and we are fighting for our right. She is too young, she doesn’t understand. But we are not wrong,” Vinesh said.

“We fight against the system, against the powerful. We hit each other on the head, nobody got ahead (then).
“She says she was cheated, but did I cheat (during the CWG trials)? If it was done, it was Brij Bhushan, or he did. My job was to fight, and I did.
“If she felt cheated, she should have gone to court at that point. It hurts. But I’m glad the kids have started speaking up, now they are gathering courage. It’s positive for wrestling,” said Vinesh, a two-time World Championship medalist.
Bajrang said that they wanted to talk about the issue only after the trials and after the Delhi High Court’s decision on the petition.
“It was said that there are 3-4 fighters who can beat Vinesh, but dear Antim, Vinesh has not lost (yet) and will not lose.
“Antim, you said that you became the first Indian to win the Under-20 championship, but Vinesh is also the only wrestler to have won two world medals. Did you file a court case against us?” she said.
Vinesh said they are not afraid of tests.
“We have given 20 years to wrestling. She says I haven’t practiced but I was at the protest site. We are still hungry. We risked everything when we were at the top of our career.
“The effort they have put into doing these tests, if they had done so much in Dharna, Brij Bhushan would not have been outside today and all of us would have been struggling.
“We didn’t run away from the tests, we just wanted enough time to train. Take our tests, we haven’t run away from the country. Someone wins and someone loses, but can’t we give ourselves even a month of time to train?” he said.
Vinesh also stated that he is not going to resign just like that.
“It’s been 20 years since I’ve been in this sport. Twice I’ve come back from the Olympic Games without a medal. My mother and I have dreamed of winning in the Olympic Games. Why should I quit?
“Young people are being deceived. If they say that we have not done anything, it is wrong. Hurts. We also contributed by winning medals but the sport is being destroyed. People who call themselves the God of wrestling don’t know how to respect women,” he said.
Bajrang said that they will not issue clarifications from time to time.
“The entire wrestling fraternity can sit together. You answer our questions and we’ll answer yours. If we’re proven wrong, we’ll stop wrestling.”
They also criticized London Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt for siding with outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whom they accused of sexually exploiting women fighters.
(With PTI inputs)

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