Aman Sehrawat, the lone male Indian wrestler to have qualified for Paris Olympics, finds it annoying that instead of shifting his focus on preparing for the Games, he still has to worry about cutting his weight to prepare for another round of trials.

The 20-year-old Under-23 world champion saved India the blushes by securing a berth in men’s freestyle 57kg for the Games at the recent World Qualifiers in Istanbul. In 11 other weight categories where the country’s male wrestlers competed, India drew a blank as none of them could qualify.

“So many times I have cut my weight. How many times do I have to do it? It causes a lot of weakness. I don’t understand do I think of now winning trials again or start preparing for the Olympics? I think the work I need to put in for good preparation will be affected if I am asked to go through the trials again,” Aman told PTI in an interview.

“By the time trials are finished, the Olympics will be almost there, so when do we start preparations? In my opinion, trials should not be held,” said Aman, whose natural body weight is 62kg.

Aman, who is Asian Games bronze medallist and Asian Championships title winner, is confident that he will be in reckoning for a medal at the Games.

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“I see myself in top-3 in the world. Russia and Albania are strong and it will be close with them, others I can manage,” he said.

Aman had lost to Albania’s Zelimkhan Abakarov in the 2023 World Championship where Serbia’s Steven Andria Micici had emerged champion. Zavur Uguev, the two-time world champion from Russia is also a strong wrestler, who had defeated Ravi Dahiya in the Tokyo Games gold medal match.

Most probably Aman will have to beat Ravi Dahiya when the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) holds trials.

Ravi, and the other top-3 wrestlers in men’s 57kg category at the last trials held in Sonepat, will have to compete against each other and the winner among them will fight it out with quota winner Aman.

“I would have already left for Russia for training if not for these trials. It is better that I train abroad with good wrestlers. I think I have done enough training in India and now it’s time to train and spar with my competitors.

“That will prepare me well for the Olympics. I will get a fair idea about my rivals,” said Aman, who joined the Chhatarsal Stadium at the age of 10 and has been making a steady progress.

Aman argues that it’s not just weight-cut that troubles wrestlers.

“Recovery is also very important. Trials, weight-cut and recovery will eat up a lot of time before Olympics if trials are held again,” he said.

Aman also understands the weight of expectations. He is considered the next big thing in Indian wrestling and he is aware of that.

“I hear a lot of things about me. People have expectations now from me. I felt very bad when I could not qualify at the Asian Qualifiers in Bishkek. It does affect if I am not able to meet expectations. I worked hard for World Qualifiers and finally achieved it,” he said adding that he likes the fame coming his way.

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