Bajrang, Vinesh, Pooja among 24 wrestlers to get annual contracts

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Gonda (Uttar Pradesh), Nov 30 (IANS) Star wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Pooja Dhadha were among the 24 players to get the central contracts which came into effect from November 15, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) announced on Friday.

The biggest beneficiaries are Bajrang, Vinesh and Pooja who have been put in the ‘A’ category. The others have been divided in four other categories (B to E).

The three marquee wrestlers will get an annual retainership of Rs 30 lakh, besides other benefits.

Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Rio Games bronze medal winner Sakshi Malik are in category B and will receive Rs 20 lakh each.

Grade C has seven grapplers, including 2016 Asian Championship Gold medallist Sandeep Tomar, World Junior Championship Silver medallist Sajan Beniwal along with Vinod Kumar Omprakash, Ritu Phogat, Sumit, Deepak Punia and Asian Games Bronze medallist Divya Kakran. Each one of them will receive Rs 10 lakh each annually.

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Rahul Aware, Naveen, Utkarsh Kale, Sachin Rathi, Vijay, Simran, Manshi and Anusha are in Category D and are entitled to Rs 5 lakh each annually, while Navjot Kaur, Kiran, Harpreet Singh and Jitendra will get Rs 3 lakh each, having been placed in Grade E.

The WFI, keeping the future in mind, will support 120 boys and girls, who have been placed in grades F, G, H and I where the U-23, Junior, Cadets and U-15 will reap the benefits of the development and growth programmes.

In Grade F, WFI has kept all Under-23 National-level gold medal winners across all categories and these wrestlers will get an annual stipend of Rs 1.2 lakh, each of them collecting Rs 10,000 per month.

In an inaugural ceremony of the Senior Nationals at Nandininagar in UP, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was the chief guest, WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Saran Singh announced the central contracts for the wrestlers.

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“Wrestling can’t get better than this. The central contracts system is a big boon and will boost our morale,” said Bajrang.

Echoing his view, Vinesh said: “It (the money) will motivate us more than ever and it provides a good competition among wrestlers.”

–IANS

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