Sakshi Malik Criticizes Vinesh & Bajrang’s Trial Exemptions from the Asian Games

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) ad-hoc committee decided to exempt Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia from trials for the upcoming Asian Games 2023. Renowned Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik on Thursday criticized the decision and revealed that she had also received the proposal but rejected it because she wants a fair selection process.

Punia (65 kg), who won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and Vinesh (53 kg), who won two medals at the world championships, were excluded from the Asian Games selection trials on Tuesday by the WFI ad hoc panel.

Later, I received a call from the committee informing me that Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat’s names will be given directly to the Asian Games and asking me to send a message so that my name could also be forwarded. I declined nevertheless because I didn’t want a direct entry. I don’t want to violate any junior wrestler’s rights, Sakshi told IANS.

“I have never attended a tournament without the trials and I never will in the future. Therefore, I disagree with the choice to exempt some names. We were offered a guarantee, which is why we traveled abroad for training. We are victims of injustice, and we should be given the same chance to participate in the Asian Games, she continued.