New Delhi: Wrestler Sushil Kumar has moved the Delhi high court to ask for a trial to decide who will represent India in the 74 kg category in the Rio Olympic Games.
Sushil missed the qualification for the August games as he had an injured shoulder. As a result, wrestler Narsingh Yadav was able to secure the quota berth in the 74kg category. The quota berth is for the country and it was expected that trials would be held to pick between Narsingh and Sushil before the Games.
Sushil won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver medal at the London Games in 2012. He said he ‘deserved’ a trial based on those performances.
He has repeatedly requested the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for a trial but has been denied. The WFI has made it clear that it’s not in favour of his demand for a selection trial. With Narsingh staking his claim for the Olympics, the WFI is in a fix as it fears demands from other wrestlers in the remaining seven weight categories.
The WFI even sought the sports ministry’s intervention to resolve the issue of whether to give the Olympic ticket to Narsingh, who clinched the quota berth, or to hold trials to give double Olympic-medallist Sushil a chance in the 74kg category. Sushil competed in the 66 kg category in Beijing and in London and moved to the 74kg category in 2014.
“Whoever is the better and the stronger of us (Sushil and Narsingh) must be sent to Rio. I am ready for trials. Our government and federation have spent money on me for the past two years so that I can do something for the country,” Sushil has said.
Earlier in the day, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ruled out intervening in the Sushil-Narsingh selection battle for the Rio Olympics, saying that the WFI has to decide the matter.
“The government has nothing to do with it. The Federation, which is an autonomous body, is the final authority. We stand by the national sports code and respect the autonomy of all sports federations,” Sonowal told PTI.