It is not very often that India finds an Olympic medalist, neither do the medalists find glory thereafter. Well, with what the scheme of things is on offer at the moment for wrestling bigwigs, it seems to be true.
It has been learned that the Wrestling Federation of India is coming up with the central contracts where top wrestlers might not make it to the top grade of the contract system. The Grades which will be categorized into 5 categories, will have a pay bracket of Rs. 30 lakh for Grade A, Rs. 20 lakh for Grade B, Rs. 15 lakh for Grade C, Rs. 10 lakh for Grade D and Rs. 5 lakh for Grade E.
At the crest will be Grade A wrestlers which will in most probability include World Championship Silver medalist and Asian Games Gold medalist Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, who missed the World Championships for rehabilitation from injury, and Pooja Dhanda who won a bronze medal at the World Championships.
The Grade B will essentially include 2-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar and Rio Olympics Bronze medalist. The recent past has not seen any remarkable or stupendous performance from the celebrity wrestlers. Sushil Kumar last won a medal-worthy of a notice in the 2018 Gold Coast commonwealth games. After which he ran out of form and lost his opening bout in the Jakarta Asian Games and did not participate in the World Championship owing to the poor form he was in.
Sakshi too hasn’t been able to deliver a remarkable performance since her Rio medal. Though she did win a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games the critics do believe that it was against a weak opposition.
Famous Phogat sisters are also believed to be out of reckoning of the top grades. Though, Ritu Phogat, who performed fairly well but didn’t win a medal at the world championships and under 23 world championship silver medalist Ravi Kumar will be seen in the Grade B.
The management has clearly signaled that the wrestlers will have to either perform or perish and it can’t only rely on past laurels only. The official list of the Grades will be soon out after the Senior Wrestling Nationals which will take place in Gonda, UP from November 29.
The WFI is slowly transforming into a professional sports administration where it has roped in TATA as one of its major sponsors and chalked out a deal with Sporty Solutionz for marketing the game.
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About the Author
Suposh Sharma, keenly follows Hockey, Athletics, and other Olympic sports. He also has a penchant for writing humour and is an avid traveller