India’s top wrestlers train in deplorable conditions at SAI Sonepat Center

Due to the delayed renovation of the wrestling facilities at SAI Sonepat, India’s top wrestlers and trainers are suffering from serious health issues and injuries. Nearly 70 wrestlers sweat profusely in the main hall, which is unsuitable for training when the temperature in the NCR exceeds 45 degrees.

One of the coaches in charge of the national camp noted that the temperature inside the main hall during training could sometimes reach 39 degrees. “Ideally we should be training when the temperature is around 23-24, but we’re just exposing our wrestlers to injury by having them train in such hot conditions. It’s not ideal on the approach. of the Commonwealth Games,” said the coach.

“It feels like taking a sauna bath. That’s the kind of heat that’s generated,” said one of the wrestlers.

Indian wrestlers of regular users train at Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt Lobby, but since it’s being renovated, they train in the main hall, which has a 12.5 meter ceiling, making air conditioning unnecessary. olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punishedrecent Ranking Series gold medalist Aman Sehrawat and CWG-bound Mohit Grewal (125kg) all train at the facilities.

Jitender Kinha and Deepak Punia, who usually train at Chhattrasal Stadium, and Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Ravi Dahiya, occasionally train at Sonepat. The national camp started early this year at the SAI Center, and the indoor temperature was also not suitable for training during the winters.

“If it was 10 degrees outside, inside the gym it would be 7 or 8 degrees. It was freezing cold because this gym is not suitable for wrestling training.” SAI executive director Lalita Sharma said coolers have been set up inside the venue to help the wrestlers. “We installed six coolers today alone. We are trying to help the wrestlers. Hopefully the renovation will be finished in a month,” Lalita said.

“The renovations started before COVID hit, but they had to be stopped due to the pandemic. The structure was already dismantled at that time, so they practice in the room which is used for the badminton and volleyball training. Even the coaching staff and wrestlers are dissatisfied with the quality of food given in their meals.

“There is variety but the food lacks quality. We don’t even have juice and coconut water every day. At best they serve us watermelon juice and that too in the evening. Is- what wrestlers should take?” asked a wrestler. “We actually need Mosambi (sweet lemon) and pomegranate juice which helps in post-workout recovery.”

It was discovered that Bajrang Punia and several other wrestlers refuse to dine at the SAI mess, preferring instead to consume home-cooked meals. “They don’t even have enough utensils and cutlery in the mess. A coach carries his own steel glass because there aren’t enough glasses there. Sometimes coaches drink milk from plates “said a wrestler, who did not wish to be named.

“It was better until a private contractor came on board, but since the new contractor came in things have gotten worse. The mess is a total mess.”

“We used to get food even if we got to the mess late due to long training sessions, but that’s not the case anymore. Sometimes you have to go without food because they stop serving food after the stipulated time.”

The SAI ED, on the other hand, refuted the report, saying they only serve what the nutritionist recommends. “We don’t serve what tastes good but what the nutritionist suggests. The wrestler will take some time to adjust. We are just trying to help them train in the best possible way.”

The SAI facility, on the other hand, has upgraded the Sakshi Malik Hall with state-of-the-art technology, allowing athletes to perform Vo2 tests under the supervision of specialists. “It’s a good thing that happened. Some quality machines have been added. Bajrang recently had his Vo2 test done to check the oxygen level,” said one wrestler.

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