Hosts India will allow Chinese wrestlers to participate provided they go through the virus detection protocols.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has assured China that it’s 40-member wrestlers’ contingent will be allowed to participate at the upcoming Asian Championships.
While the Indian government may have withdrawn the e-visa facility for Chinese visitors due to the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed over 500 lives so far in the country, the wrestlers will face no such issues in all probability.
“Today I met the external affairs minister and I’m extremely hopeful there will be no problem,” WFI president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh told the Press Trust of India.
The Chinese Wrestling Association (CWA) have assured the WFI that none of the 40 wrestlers have tested positive for the coronavirus and have been quarantined. However, they will still have to go through the virus detection protocols in India.
“All the wrestlers who will participate will go through all the precautionary measures,” said Singh.
“UWW (United World Wrestling, the governing body) has also written to us stating that there should no visa problems. When we are allotted a tournament, we have to give them the assurance that no country will be denied participation by us,” he added.
The Asian Championships are set to held in capital city, New Delhi from February 18-23. Grapplers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia are likely to be India’s medals hopes at the tournament.
Bajrang Punia will be looking to defend his gold medal in the 65kg category and has been in good form this year, winning gold at the Matteo Pellicone Memorial in Rome.
Fellow grappler, Ravi Dahiya also triumphed in the 61kg category at the event and is looking at the Asian Championships as an important step.
“I am aiming for gold at the Olympics and the Asian Championships will help me prepare better ahead of Tokyo 2020,” he had told IANS agency.