Vinesh, a leading face of the protest against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was supposed to fly out to Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek on Saturday but has been stuck in India awaiting the processing of her visa application by the Hungarian embassy here, which has the freestyle 53kg wrestler’s passport. She already has an e-visa for Bishkek.
As per the proposal submitted by Vinesh to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), she was scheduled to attend international training camps in Bishkek from July 2 to 10 and then in Budapest from July 10 to 28. Vinesh was to travel with her physiotherapist Ashwini Jeevan Patil, sparring partner Sangeeta Phogat and coach Sudesh.
The delay in the arrival of her Hungarian visa has prompted the sports ministry and the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to intervene and take up the matter with the embassy officials on an urgent basis. It’s been learnt that SAI and officers in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) held several rounds of telephonic discussion with the MEA officials on Monday, requesting for the early resolution of the issue.
It’s been learnt that MEA had written a letter to embassy officials to expedite Vinesh and Co’s visa application. According to sources, the officials have assured that their visas will come in a couple of days.
During her Budapest stint, Vinesh is expected to compete — for the first time since the Birmingham CWG in July-August last year — at the 4th international ranking series event scheduled from July 13 to 16.
It’s been learnt that Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia has already left for a 36-day training-cum-competition trip to Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk-Kul from July 1 to August 5. He is accompanied by coach Sujeet Maan, physiotherapist Anuj Gupta, sparring partner Jitender Kinha and strength and conditioning expert Kaazi Kiron Mustafa Hasan.
Sources have informed that Sakshee Malikkh, another prominent face of protest, and her husband Satyawart Kadian have also accompanied Bajrang and others to Kyrgyzstan to prepare for the trials.