Indian coach Kripa Shankar Bishnoi understands the importance of the changes in wrestling rules, which is going to affect the chances of Indian wrestlers. Former wrestler has suggested three major changes regarding changes in all weight categories to the the United World Wrestling (UWW). The world governing body of the sport is expected to discuss these suggestions with International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the upcoming World Wrestling Championships to be held in Paris from 20 to 27 August. 

The former wrestler believes that the changes suggested by him will make the wrestling more spectator friendly and also safeguard the interests of the Indian wrestlers.

“One of the biggest changes which the game is likely to see is the increase in existing eight  to 10 categories in all the world competitions which includes the World Championships, World Cup and Golden Grand Prix events. I feel that in freestyle the weight categories may be changed to 60kg, 70 kg, 80 kg, 90 kg , 100 kg and 130 kg from the current 57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg,” suggested Kripa. 

Similarly, in Greco Roman category Kripa feels that the weight categories could be increased from traditional 59 kg, 66 kg, 75 kg, 85 kg, 98 kg and 130 kg to 60 kg, 70 kg, 80 kg, 90 kg, 100 kg and 130 kg.

“I have proposed to the world body to add the 50 kg and 55 kg in both the Greco Roman and Freestyle categories in the male sections,” said Kripa.

Explaining the reason for bringing in these changes the Arjuna Awardee said the focus of the UWW seems to be to end the small weight categories. 

“Such a move would adversely affect the Indian and Asian wrestlers who are much better than the rest in the smaller weight sections. So by giving this suggestion, I want the world wrestling body to protect the interests of the Indian and Asian wrestlers,” he added.

Kripa also feels that the world body wants to promote the interests of the European wrestlers. “By trying to introduce added weight categories, I feel the world body wants to promote the European wrestlers., We all know how good the Europeans are in the higher weight categories,” opined Kripa.

Kripa Shankar, who is currently coaching the Railway wrestling team, also made another valid suggestion to the world body. This was that during Greco-Roman bouts, the referee gives a warning to the wrestler whom he perceives to be defensive. After two warnings, one point is awarded to the opponent wrestler. 

“I feel that the errant wrestler should be given 30 seconds of active time to earn a point something that happens in free-style wrestling. If this rule applies to Greco-Roman wrestling, then the referee’s favour and monopoly will end,” Kripa added.

Kripa Shankar’s third suggestion is quite an important one. It refers to the role of print media and electronic media in promoting and creating a positive image for a sport.  

According to the existing rules, a particular weight contest ends in a single day. On that day the gold medal, silver medal and bronze medal are distributed to the players.  Kripa Shankar feels that in this context that all the bouts of an entire weight category should not be completed in a single day and it should be held over two or three days as is done in boxing. 

“By doing this, wrestling games and winning wrestlers will receive media publicity for more than one day. This will also increase the popularity of wrestling sports,” Kripa said

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