Asian Olympic Games: Wrestlers Punia, Sujeet Miss Qualifiers Due To Flight Delay

New Delhi: In a huge setback for the Indian wrestling contingent at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers in Bishkek, two of the country’s best wrestlers, Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalakal, will miss the continental event as they could not report for the weigh-in on time as their flight arrived late in the Kyrgyzstan capital owing to bad weather in Dubai.

While both Punia and Sujeet eventually managed to reach Bishkek after being stranded at the Dubai international airport due to incessant rain and flooding, they could not report for the mandatory weigh-in on time, according to sources. The two wrestlers missed their second-last chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics, starting July 26.

Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalakal were stranded at the Dubai airport on Thursday after unprecedented rain left the city flooded and threw one of the world’s busiest airports in disarray. Several flights had to be rescheduled and the two Indian wrestlers were caught in the unfortunate crisis. A 17-member Indian squad reached Bishkek, but Sujeet and Deepak were left stranded in Dubai.

Notably, the Sports Authority of India said on Thursday that the two wrestlers would travel to Bishkek and that the officials were in touch with the organisers of the Olympic qualifiers.

Deepak and Sujeet will have another opportunity to qualify for the Olympics when they compete in the World Qualifiers in Turkey in May. Four more Indian wrestlers will be in action in the men’s freestyle event with Aman in the 57kg category, Jaideep in the 74kg category, Deepak in 97kg category and Sumit in the 125kg category.

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