Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar will not be part of the Indian wrestling team that will travel to next months World Championships in Tashkent Uzbekistan and the subsequent Asian Games to be held in Incheon, South Korea.
“He told us that he will not go to either of the tournaments as he was focussing on Rio Olympics,” Wrestling Federation of India secretary general Raj Singh told The Indian Express.
The decision came on the day, when the wrestling trials to determine the teams was held. Interestingly, the WFI, had decided to relieve Sushil (70kg category), Yogeshwar Dutt (65kg) and Amit Kumar (55kg) — gold medal winners from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games — from taking part in the trials. WFI had decided to select two different teams for the tournaments as both were being held in the month of September which would have given the free style wrestlers less time to recover.
Also, the gold winners from the Glasgow Games were to directly represent India at the Asian Games. The way it was worked out was the No.1 ranked wrestler after the trials would go to Incheon, the No.2 ranked or the losing finalist was to go to the Worlds. In the three weight divisions, the winner was to fight in Tashkent.
But now that Sushil has pulled out his place on the Asiad team will be filled by Parveen Rana who will fight in the 70kg category.
Meanwhile, 2010 Asian Championships gold medallist and Olympian, Narsingh Yadav successfully completed a comeback to the Indian team. He defeated Balraj in the 74kg category to earn his place on the Asian Games team.
While the the WFI has decided to send two teams in free style, it will not do the same in the greco-roman discipline. The same team that was selected for the Worlds will travel to South Korea. “Our foreign coach Emzar (Makhardze) told us that our second team isn’t strong enough so we will be sending the same team. He also opined that they can cope with two tournaments in a row,” Singh said.
Squads: Asian Games (freestyle): Amit Kumar (57kg), Bajrang (61kg), Yogeshwar Dutt (65kg), Parveen Rana (70kg), Narsingh Yadav (74kg), Pawan Kumar (86kg), Satyavart Kadian (97kg), Krishna Kumar (120kg);
World Championships: Rahul Aware (57kg), Rahul Mann (61kg), Amit Dhankar (65kg), Arun Kumar (70kg), Balraj (74kg), Naresh Kumar (86kg) Sumit (97), Rajiv Tomar (125kg).
Greco- Roman: Ravindra Singh (59kg), Sandeep Yadav (66kg), Krishna Kant Yadav (71kg), Gurpreet Singh (75kg), Harpreet Singh (80kg), Manoj (85kg), Hardeep (98kg), Dharmendra Dalal (130kg)