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Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia’s Asian Games Trials Exemption Allowed By Delhi High Court

File image of Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat© ANI

The Delhi High Court on Saturday refused to interfere with the exemption granted to top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia from Asian Games trials. Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the petition by Under-20 World Champion Antim Panghal and Under-23 Asian Champion Sujeet Kalkal against the direct entry allowed to Phogat and Punia to participate in the tournament.

“Writ petition is dismissed,” the judge said.

A detailed copy of the order is awaited.  Phogat (53kg) and Punia (65kg) were given direct entry for the Asian Games by the Indian Olympic Association’s ad-hoc committee on Tuesday, while other wrestlers will have to earn their places in the Indian squad through selection trials on July 22 and 23.

Panghal and Kalkal moved the high court on July 19 challenging the exemption and demanded a fair selection process for the quadrennial showpiece event.

The petition, moved by advocates Hrishikesh Baruah and Akshay Kumar, had demanded that the directive issued by the IOA ad-hoc committee with regard to the two categories (men’s freestyle 65kg and women’s 53kg) be quashed and the exemption granted to Phogat and Punia set aside.

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