Five judokas, consisting of two women and three men players from the Bharatiya team will be participating in the Grand Slam competition – an International Judo Federation (IJF) event – in Budapest, Hungary from October 23 to 26.
The men’s team comprises of former Olympian and 28-year-old Avtar Singh (100 kg), 22-year-old TOPS developmental group athlete Jasleen Singh Saini (66 kg) from Punjab and and 24-year-old Vijay Yadav (60 kg). The women’s team includes 25-year-old Sushila Devi (48kg) from Manipur and 22-year-old Tulika Mann (78 kg) of Delhi. The five players will be accompanied by coach Jiwan Sharma for the length of the competition in Hungary.
“My aim is to get a medal for Bharat in the Olympics and I’m very confident to get this done because I have done a lot of hard work for this. I am also very thankful to the government for their support. Even if there is hard work from our side but no government support, we can do nothing. So, I am very thankful they are bearing the expenses for our trip,” mentioned Jasleen.
Around 645 competitors from across 81 countries are slated to participate in the IJF event. The full expenditure of the Bharatiya team's trip will be borne by the Ministry.
The team will have to produce at least two Covid-19 negative individual medical certificates (PCR test made maximum 5 days before arrival and taken 48 hours apart) upon arrival at Hungary.
They are all selected on the basis of the world ranking and have high chances of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics games postponed to next year. They are also the best competitors in the Senior National Ranking Championships. Among the women, Sushila Devi is ranked the highest at 41 and has a total of 833 Olympic qualification points, while Jasleen is ranked the highest at 56 among the men and has 854 Olympic qualification points.