Pune: Commonwealth Games gold medallist wrestler Rahul Aware has once again stirred the hornet’s nest by refusing to undergo selection trials for the August 18-September 2 Asian Games scheduled in Jakarta-Palembang.
His refusal to take part in the trials scheduled for Saturday in Sonepat has prevented the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) from finalising the men’s team for the Asian Games — which effectively means Aware could get a show-cause notice to explain his behaviour.
In all likelihood, the Pune wrestler, who was given a hero’s welcome on his return from Gold Coast, would not be a part of the Indian wrestling team in the Jakarta Games.
Aware and his supporters had expressed surprise over him being asked to undergo selection trials despite winning the Commonwealth Games medal in 57-kg category, but only a few expected him to skip the Saturday trials.
This is second time that Aware defied orders--first was during the lead up to 2016 Olympic Games.
He was miffed that of the five gold medal winners from Gold Coast four were exempted from undergoing trials, while he was forced to take one.
Aware’s coach Kaka Pawar insisted that he had advised the wrestler to undergo trials, “but he received the message late thereby missed out on the selection trials.
“We know that opportunity has been missed to participated in the Asian Games, but will now focus on qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Asian Games trials
The WFI conducted Selection Trials in Senior Free Style and Greco Roman Style following which Pawan Kumar (86-kg), Mausam Khatri (97-kg) and Sumit (125-kg) hit the selection mark.
The WFI selection committee had already excused Bajrang (61-kg) and Sushil Kumar (74-kg) from taking the trials.
India’s Greno-Roman style team comprises Gyanendra (60-kg), Manish (67-kg), Gurpreet Singh (77-kg), Harpreet Singh (87-kg), Hardeep (97-kg) and Naveen (125-kg).
Meanwhile, the WFI has withheld results of the 57-kg class as all the three wrestlers -- Sandeep Tomar, Utkarsh Kale and Ravi got equal points forcing the Selection Committee to go in for a possible re-trial.