World Wrestling Qualifiers: Naveen Kumar tests Covid-19 positive; no Indian representation in 74kg at Tokyo Olympics

World Wrestling Qualifiers: India’s Naveen Kumar will not be able to represent the country at Tokyo Olympics after testing Covid-19 positive
World Wrestling Qualifiers: India’s Naveen Kumar will not be able to represent the country at Tokyo Olympics after testing Covid-19 positive

World Wrestling Qualifiers: Naveen Kumar tests Covid-19 positive-Covid-19 virus has put paid to the hopes of India’s 130kg Greco-Roman wrestler, Naveen Kumar, to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics. The wrestler has returned positive for the dreaded virus at the World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been quarantined at the team hotel by the organisers. He is said to be asymptomatic.

A Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) official confirmed the development to TOI, informing that the wrestler returned Covid positive in the RT-PCR tests conducted on Wednesday at the competition venue.

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He was immediately isolated from the rest of the Indian wrestling group. Other Indian grapplers, fortunately, have returned negative. This was the second time Naveen had fallen ill to the virus, after contracting it earlier at the wrestling national camp in Sonepat earlier this year.

Talking about the competition, India will go unrepresented in the 74kg and 97kg weight categories at the Tokyo Olympics, after both Amit Dhankar (74kg) and Satyawart Kadian (97kg) lost their respective bouts on the opening day of the qualifiers on Thursday. The event offers a final chance to wrestlers world over to book their Olympic quota places for Tokyo.

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This will be the second consecutive time when India will be without representation in the 74kg at the Olympics, after Narsingh Yadav was barred from taking the mat at the 2016 Rio Olympics owing to his involvement in doping. Sumit Malik in the 125kg category is still in contention to qualify and will take on Venezuela’s Jose Daniel Diaz Robertti in his semifinal round. The two finalists will qualify for Tokyo.