Express press service
CHENNAI: He was 18 seconds away from booking a flight to Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Instead, 125kg wrestler Satender Malik probably won’t be able to take the mat for official competitions anymore after the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) banned him for life for allegedly assaulting a referee.
It all happened on a busy day at the IG Stadium in New Delhi during the selection trials to select the men’s freestyle team across six Olympic weight classes for the CWG on Tuesday.
On a day when favorites Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) overcame their respective opponents to make the cut, it was Services wrestler Satender who grabbed the spotlight.
He was leading 3-0 with just 18 seconds left in the second and final period when his opponent Mohit seemingly made a two-point takedown move and also pushed him off the mat for another point to tie the score 3-3 .
The referee, however, did not allow two runs for the takedown, prompting Mohit’s coach to challenge the decision.
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According to the wrestlers at the scene, the appeal jury consisting of Satyadev Malik was supposed to review the video but he apologized for the decision saying he belongs to Mokhra village in Haryana from where Satender is also native.
“Another member of the jury then canceled the challenge and awarded a technical point to Satender in accordance with the rules giving him a 4-1 lead,” the wrestlers added.
However, members of the WFI office, including President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and members of the selection committee present on the occasion, were apparently unhappy with the decision and asked the jury to reconsider it.
“Incidentally, members of the bureau including the president were watching the fight and they saw everything. That’s why another referee, Jagbir Singh, was asked to watch the video,” a WFI official told the daily. .
Jagbir then reversed the previous decision and awarded Mohit two runs for the takedown. As the score was 3-3 after the fight, Mohit was declared the criteria winner as he won the last point.
This probably infuriated Satender, who crossed the A-mat where Ravi and Aman were locked in the 57kg final, went straight to Jagbir and started assaulting him.
“That fight ended and I was watching another fight when Satender approached me and started swearing at me. He then slapped me,” said Jagbir from the LNJP hospital where he stood. is rendered to obtain a medical-legal certificate required for registration of an FIR.
Satender remained unavailable for comment.
Video of the incident
Video purported to be from the tryouts suggested the referee was the one who slapped Satender before the wrestler took revenge.
Close victory for Bajrang
Bajrang hasn’t been at his best since winning an Olympic bronze medal last year. Without his attack moves, he looked like a pale shadow of himself. Tuesday was no different as he again recorded a narrow 2-1 win over Vishal Kaliraman in the final. Earlier, he beat Sujeet 4-0 in the semi-finals.
On the contrary, Tokyo Games silver medalist Ravi won the semi-final and final in dominant fashion to mark his authority. Deepak (86 kg) and Naveen (74 kg) were the other wrestlers to qualify.
What the UWW rules say
Here are United World Wrestling’s international rules that deal with such cases
During the video examination, the Jury of Appeal will render its decision without consulting the refereeing body. If the Jury of Appeal reaches a unanimous agreement, it will be considered final and irrevocable. No other recourse will be possible. The decision of the Jury of Appeal is final.
Under no circumstances should anyone – including UWW Board members, UWW delegates, coaches, wrestlers or team managers – attempt to interfere with or influence the Jury of Appeal. Anyone violating this rule will be expelled from the field of play for the duration of the tournament.
It is not possible to ask for a “counter-challenge” once a final decision has been taken by the Jury of Appeal.