HomeNewsDeepak Punia, Sujeet Kalkal Sidelined from Olympic Qualifiers: Unforeseen Obstacles
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Deepak Punia, Sujeet Kalkal Sidelined from Olympic Qualifiers: Unforeseen Obstacles

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Deepak Punia (86kg) and Sujeet Kalkal, Indian wrestlers aiming to secure spots for the 2024 Paris Olympics, faced a significant setback as they were unable to compete in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Sujeet Kalkal (65kg) and Deepak Punia, who narrowly missed winning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, encountered travel disruption when they were stranded at Dubai International Airport due to heavy rainfall causing flooding in the city. Dubai experienced its highest recorded rainfall in 75 years, resulting in the cancellation of 300 flights. Despite arriving in Bishkek this morning, meeting the necessary weight criteria, and being ready to compete, the organizers prohibited them from participating in the event.

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Since Deepak and Sujeet won’t be able to qualify for the Paris Olympics through the Asian Qualifiers, they have another shot at the World Qualifiers in May. While other Indian wrestlers arrived in Bishkek on schedule, Deepak and Sujeet were traveling from Dagestan, Russia, where they trained from April 2 to 15. They boarded a flight arranged by the WFI from Makachkala to Bishkek via Dubai on April 16. With the men’s freestyle matches scheduled for Friday, Aman Sehrawat will lead the Indian men’s team in the 57kg category in the absence of Deepak Punia.


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