Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra on Monday felt spending time away from competitive tournaments went against star wrestler Sushil Kumar, whose hopes of participating at the upcoming Rio Games went up in smoke after the Delhi High Court dismissed his plea for a selection trial.
The court observed that it may “jeopardise” the chances of selected candidate Narsingh Pancham Yadav and the country would be the “loser”.
Justice Manmohan acknowledged Sushil’s feats in the international arena and termed him a “legendary wrestler” in 66kg weight category but did not allow him to have a chance to compete for the Olympic berth in the 74kg category.
Asked about the two-time Olympic medallist, Bindra said, “The situation is very complicated with him. Actually all the federations should be very clear with their policies and they should make it public even before the qualification of athletes for the Games begins.”
“Sushil is a legend and whatever he has achieved cannot be denied. But we have not seen him competing for the last two years and maybe it was because of his injury, but that went against him,” Bindra told NDTV.
Ace shooter Bindra, who clinched a historic gold medal in 10m air rifle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, further said, “If you are holding a trial for him, then they will have to hold trials for others too. The National Rifle Association of India has a selection policy and the policy itself can be debated but you have to give them credit for this.”
Bindra had earlier tweeted, “Sushil Kumar is a legend. He should go to Rio – to support Narsingh from the sidelines . Will only enhance his stature.”
The court said Sushil’s petition, seeking a direction to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to hold a selection trial to decide who will represent India in 74 kg freestyle category at the Rio Olympics, was “untenable in law as well as contrary to facts”.