Sushil Kumar opts out of trials, Tokyo hopes on razor’s edge

Today News Online Service
New Delhi, March 15

India’s sole two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar will not take part in the trials to select the freestyle team for the Asian Olympic qualifier next month.

Sushil has informed the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) that he will not participate in the trials that are scheduled to be held in New Delhi’s KD Singh Jadhav Stadium on Tuesday.

The Asian Olympic qualifier is scheduled to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan from April 9 to 18.

“I will never take part in any event if I am not fully fit. I have already informed the federation of my decision,” Sushil told The Tribune.

“I have hardly trained in the last two-three months as I was too busy to restore the credibility of the School Games Federation of India (SGFI). I have only started to train seriously now so participation was out of question,” he added.

Sushil’s decision to sit out the trials has given hope for other contenders in the 74kg division, including Narsingh Yadav and Gourav Baliyan.

If any wrestler wins the quota in Almaty, it would bring curtains for Sushil’s Olympic dreams as the WFI rules mandates those winning the quota will be selected. If they do not, then he has to come through a trial process to represent India at the World Olympic Qualifiers in Sofia in May.

This is the second instance in two months where Sushil has opted out of a competition. He sat out of the National Championships owing to the same issue.

The body was mired in controversy after it was discovered that the by-laws of the sports body were changed by forging Sushil’s signatures. Sushil blamed the then SGFI secretary general Rajesh Mishra for the mess.

Interestingly, Sushil opted out of the 2015 World Championships, which effectively ended his hopes for Rio Games with Narsingh winning a bronze medal.


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