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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Two Indian wrestlers stranded at Dubai airport on way to Bishkek for Olympic qualifier

Deepak (86kg), who had come close to winning a medal at the Tokyo Games, and Sujeet (65kg), were on their way to Bishkek to participate in the Asia Olympic qualfiers

PTI New Delhi Published 18.04.24, 07:21 PM
A view of aeroplanes parked on a flooded tarmac seen through a plane's window at Dubai International Airport.

A view of aeroplanes parked on a flooded tarmac seen through a plane's window at Dubai International Airport. PTI picture.

Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalakal's chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics hit a roadblock as the two Kyrgyzstan-bound Indian wrestlers were left stranded at the Dubai international airport due to unprecedented rains in the gulf nation.

Deepak (86kg), who had come close to winning a medal at the Tokyo Games, and Sujeet (65kg), were on their way to Bishkek to participate in the Asia Olympic qualfiers, the second-last qualifying event for Paris Olympics, beginning on Friday.

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However, the duo was left stranded at the Dubai airport after the heaviest recorded rainfall ever to hit the nation left major highways and roads flooded and one of the world's busiest airports in a disarray.

The duo, accompanied by Russian coach Kamal Malikov and physio Shubham Gupta, has been forced to sleep on the floor and has no access to proper food due to the rain-induced crisis.

Deepak and Sujeet have their weigh-in at 8am on Friday while the bouts are scheduled later in the day.

"They are stuck at the Dubai airport since April 16 and it seems the chance of qualifying for Paris Olympics is slipping out of their hands as they are scheduled to compete tomorrow. They are not getting any flights to Bishkek. I am worried about them," Dayanand Kalakal, Sujeet's father, told PTI.

Deepak and Sujeet were training in Dagestan, Russia from April 2 to 15 and decided to fly from Makachkala to Bishkek via Dubai.

The last chance to qualify for Paris will be World qualifiers in Turkey in May.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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