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Home Sports ‘It will be painful’: Wrestlers hope their sport is not left out of 2026 Commonwealth Games final roster | More sports News

‘It will be painful’: Wrestlers hope their sport is not left out of 2026 Commonwealth Games final roster | More sports News

‘It will be painful’: Wrestlers hope their sport is not left out of 2026 Commonwealth Games final roster | More sports News

SONEPAT: The initial roster of sports for the 2026 Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held in Australia’s Victoria state doesn’t include three sports that India has regularly fielded its athletes in and also won many medals in. Wrestling, shooting and archery are not part of the initial list of 16 sports announced by the CWG Federation earlier this week, when it revealed Victoria as the host for the 2026 edition.
The coaches and wrestlers part of the ongoing men’s national camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat were taken aback by the news. TimesofIndia.com recently visited the camp that’s on to prepare for the Asian Championships in Mongolia.
“I wasn’t aware of this,” said Ravi Dahiya, silver medallist (57kg) from the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021, talking to Timesofindia.com

(Ravi Dahiya – Photo: Times Internet)
“Wrestling is an ancient sport. It has been there since the first Olympics (1896). We all should raise our voice against this move. UWW (United World Wrestling) should step in,” added Dahiya, who is a product of the ‘akhara’ at Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium.
While the host CWG nation can decide the sports it wants to roster (besides the mandatory sports – athletics and swimming), wrestling was on the Olympics chopping block as well for Tokyo 2020.
But six months after wrestling was voted as one of the sports that could be axed from the 2020 Olympics (eventually held in 2021), it was brought back, defeating bids from baseball, softball and squash.
The wrestlers hope history is repeated.
“It’s a wrong decision. Wrestling is a popular sport and should remain (in the CWG 2026 roster),” said coach Sujeet Maan, who has been working specifically with Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia in the camp here.
“I wasn’t aware of this news. If this is true, then I would say it’s bad and shameful. I think after athletics, wrestling is the sport played by most nations. It could be because Australia is not that good in wrestling that they want to keep it out,” Maan, a former India wrestler himself, told TimesofIndia.com.

Wrestling-Camp-Times-Intern

(Photo: Times Internet)
India was the best performing nation as far as wrestling at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was concerned.
India won a total of 12 medals in wrestling, including five gold — won by Bajrang, Rahul Aware, Sushil Kumar and Sumit Malik in the men’s disciplines and Vinesh Phogat among the women in that edition.
Besides the five gold medals, India had won three silver medals and four bronze as well.
“It’s painful news for us. Wrestling is an Olympic sport; we are winning medals in it,” Deepak Punia, who narrowly missed the bronze in 86kg category at the Tokyo Olympics last year, told TimesofIndia.com at the camp in Sonepat.
But will the wrestling fraternity in India ask the IOA to boycott the 2026 CWG altogether if the hosts and the CWG Federation don’t bring wrestling back later?
“That decision is not in our hands. Whatever our federation, WFI, decides, we will be with them,” said Dahiya.

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