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Indian Wrestlers Deepak Punia, Sujeet Kalkal Stranded At Dubai Airport On Way To Bishkek For Olympics Qualifiers

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

Photo: X/ @deepakpunia86
File image: Deepak Punia Photo: X/ @deepakpunia86
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Deepak Punia and Sujeet Kalkal'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. (More Sports News)

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 qualifiers, the second-last qualifying event for the Paris Olympics, beginning on Friday.

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 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 8 am on Friday while the bouts are scheduled later in the day.

"They have been stuck at the Dubai airport since April 16 and it seems the chance of qualifying for the 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.

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