Vinesh Phogat's Dual Weight Category Entry Sparks Controversy

Vinesh Phogat’s Dual Weight Category Entry Sparks Controversy

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat’s decision to compete in two weight categories at the selection trials on March 11 has sparked controversy. While the move may have been strategic for her Olympic aspirations, it has drawn criticism from fellow athletes.

Phogat, a two-time World Championships bronze medalist, entered both the 50kg and 53kg classes. She finished third in the 53kg category but won the 50kg trials, securing her spot for next month’s Olympic qualifiers.

The 53kg quota has already been secured by Antim Panghal, who was exempted from the trials. According to the selection criteria, a final selection trial in May will determine who represents India in Paris.

Phogat defended her decision, stating that she was unsure if the final selection trial in the 53kg class would be held. She also emphasized that she did not violate any rules by entering two weight categories, as Article 7 of UWW regulations applies only to international competitions.

“I want to clarify that I, along with other finalists, have undergone dope tests after both the senior nationals held in the previous month and following the recent trials,” Phogat added, addressing rumors that she had not undergone the mandatory dope test.

However, some athletes have expressed concerns about Phogat’s actions. They argue that it is unfair for her to compete in two weight categories, especially when other wrestlers have dedicated themselves to a single weight class.

The controversy has highlighted the need for clear and transparent selection criteria. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) must ensure that all wrestlers are treated fairly and that the selection process is based on merit.

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