Sushil ready for Worlds’ trials

Sushil Kumar

Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar has entered to participate in the national selection trials in 74kg for the World Championships in Kazakhstan, scheduled from September 14-22. It will be the first qualification event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

However, injuries to other contenders which include Parveen Rana and Amit Dhankar, have made Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to hold the trials of men’s 74 kg at a later date in August, and not with other five Olympic categories on Friday. Rana competed against Sushil in the trials for the 2018 Commonwealth Games which turned ugly.

“The federation is of the view that everybody should get a chance. We have talented wrestlers in 74 kg, be it Parveen Rana, Jitender, or Amit Dhankar. We hope they will be fit by then,” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told DH.

The Friday’s trial will be held in 57kg, 65kg, 86kg, 97kg and 125kg. The 74 kg category trial will be conducted with non-Olympic weight categories’ later in second week of August.

“We also out best wrestlers for non-Olympic categories in World Championships. That is the reason we are having the trials for Olympic weight categories first. By holding trials for non-Olympic weight categories later, we are also ensuring our second best wrestlers are not losing out and they can compete.” 

Trials venue shifted 

The venue for the trials has also shifted from Sonepat to Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium here.

The WFI has given its approval for Sushil’s entry in trial. “We can’t stop anyone from participating. He is a double Olympic medallist,” Tomar said.

The participation of Sushil has piqued the interest in the trials. The 36-year-old missed the bus to Rio Olympics amidst high drama. His participation in 2018 Commonwealth Games trials were marred with violence. Fellow wrestler Rana lodged an FIR against Sushil and five of his supporters for beating up his brother Naveen after he lost the trial. He even claimed the scorers were biased in favour of Sushil.

In 2017 National Games, the legend had made his way to the gold medal after fighting just the first two rounds. He was given three successive walkovers with his opponents leaving the stage touching his feet, including Rana in the finals.

Sushil is yet to participate in any competition-domestic or international- this season. The last time he was seen in a big event was 2018 Asian Games, where he bowed out in the first round. He had been training in Russia after opting out of the national camp.

The trials in the women’s section will be held on July 28 in Lucknow in 50kg, 53kg, 57kg, 62kg,68kg and 76kg categories.

Comments (+)