IOA, grapplers welcome wrestling's re-inclusion in Oly Games
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the wrestling fraternity of the country was ecstatic as wrestling today won a crucial International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote to regain its place in the Olympic sports roster.
Wrestling got 49 out of 95 votes cast by the IOC members in Buenos Aires, Argentina while the joint bid of baseball/softball was second with 24 votes and squash received 22 votes.
The voting at the 125th IOC session ensured that wrestling will be on the Olympic sport roster in 2020 games, to be hosted by the Japanese city of Tokyo, as well as in the 2024 Games.
Star wrestler Sushil Kumar, who won back-to-back medals in Olympic Games, said it will inspire the young grapplers for better performance.
"It's a great news for the wrestling fraternity. The decision will motivate the younger crop to take up the sport. I am happy that the ancient sport has been reinstated as it deserves to be in the Olympic movement," Sushil told PTI.
"The IOC verdict also secures the future of the Indian wrestlers who are aiming to represent India at the Olympics. We will definitely see more medals in the sport at the future Olympics," Sushil added.
IOA acting President V K Malhotra also hailed the IOC decision. "We were waiting for this news. We are happy that efforts have yielded desired result. It is really good for the wrestlers," Malhotra said.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Raj Singh felt that granting Tokyo (Japan) the rights to host 2020 Olympics also had a impact on the final voting.
"I was confident about wrestling making the cut. When Japan was given the hosting rights, it was a positive sign for wrestling as it has rich past in the sport. We had a strong case in our favour and I am glad that the IOC backed our move. All FILA members and associates need to thanked for their efforts," Raj said.
Yogeshwar Dutt, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Games, said he he feeling as if "he has won another medal."
"There was a sword hanging over wrestlers future. But now that has been cleared. This is a great thing for the future of the sport in the country. I thank each and every individual who supported wrestling's re inclusion in the Olympic movement," an elated Dutt said.
"The way top management of the FILA reacted after the shocking news of wrestling's ouster in February has been praiseworthy. The have transformed the sport for the better," Dutt added.
Renowned coach Satpal Singh, a Dronacharya awardee, said all the people who campaigned intensely for the sport needed to be thanked.
"I am very happy. This is a good news. It is victory for for the sport. I congratulate the people who supported the campaign. Wrestling holds a special place for India in Olympic Games. No game has given four individual medal in Olympics.
"But it is also a challenge. I tell to coaches that we had two medal in London and it should be four in Rio and there should be a gold too. People who supported campaign worldwide, I thank them," Satpal Singh said.
Meanwhile, India's highest ranked squash player Saurav Ghosal was disappointed that their sport could get on board.
"We tried our best. We had an impressive presentation. But sadly the decision was not in our hands. We will keep on trying to get into the Olympic fold and become a part of the biggest sporting stage on the earth. A lot of people involved with the sport had put in a great deal of effort to get us to this stage," Ghodal said.