Star grapplers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt have decided to skip the FILA World Wrestling Championships to be held next month in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to avoid injuries and preserve themselves for the upcoming Asian Games.
Sushil and Yogeshwar, who won a gold each in men’s 74kg and 65kg freestyle in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will not take part in the world meet to be held from September 4 to 18.
Amit Kumar Dahiya and Babita Kumari, who won a gold each in Glasgow in men’s 57kg and women’s 55kg freestyle, will also not take part in the World Championships.
Wrestling head coach Vinod Kumar told PTI that India will send a ‘B’ team in the World Championships in view of the Asian Games.
“It will be really hectic for Sushil and Yogeshwar to take part in both the World Championships and Asian Games as barely 10 days separate the two events. They have to be kept fighting fit for the Asian Games and avoid injuries. Amit Kumar Dahiya is also not taking part (in World Championships). So basically we are sending a ‘B’ team in the World Championships,” Vinod Kumar said.
“World Championships is an important event in the wrestling calendar but we feel Asian Games are even more important as they are the premier multi-sporting event of the continent and the performance of our wrestlers will reflect on India’s medal tally. We have to choose between two important events and we opted for Asian Games to field our top wrestlers,” he reasoned.
Sushil had won a bronze and silver in the 66kg (rpt 66kg) category in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. But after a re-jig of weight categories by world governing body FILA in view of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Sushil fought in 74kg in Glasgow CWG. He will compete in the 70kg in the September 19 to October 4 Asian Games.
Yogeshwar, who won a bronze in 2012 London Olympics in 60kg (rpt 60kg) and in 65kg in Glasgow, will fight in 65kg in the Asian Games.
The head coach said that the wrestlers will be sent for a training-cum-exposure tour to Belarus from August 22 onwards.
“The wrestlers will be in Belarus for around four weeks.They will come back in India and leave for South Korea for the Asian Games,” he said.
Wrestling events in the Asian Games begin on September 27.
Yogeshwar said he has started training at the Sonepat SAI centre after taking rest for just four days.
“I took rest for just four days and have started training at Sonepat. It will be tough competition in the Asian Games and we have to train hard to do well in South Korea,” Yogeshwar said.
“The Commonwealth Games gold was a confidence booster and now my immediate target is the Asian Games gold.”