Narsingh Yadav, India’s finest 74kg grappler at the moment, questions two-time Olympic medal-winning wrestler’s call for selection trials ahead of Rio Olympics
“If I were Sushil, I would say it is my fault that I didn’t go for the trials and let Narsingh go to the Olympics as he has secured an Olympic quota-winning bronze at the 2015 World Championship (Las Vegas).” Narsingh Yadav is in no mood to fan the flames of controversy even more, but at the Sports Authority of India ground in Kandivli on Saturday, he wanted to set the record straight. “There is no point mulling over it as the issue has been blown out of proportion. Right now, I am staying clear of all this (controversy) and ensuring I follow my routine of getting things right for Rio.
India’s freestyle wrestler Narsingh Yadav gets involved in a game of volleyball at the Sports Authority of India ground in Kandivli on Saturday. Pic/Ajinkya Sawant
Sushil Kumar and Narsingh were vying for a place in India’s Rio-bound wrestling squad as 74kg wrestlers, but Sushil missed the 2015 World Championships due to a shoulder injury while Narsingh won bronze to secure a place in the squad. Now, Sushil wants a trial to decide who between the two wrestlers will be at August’s Rio Olympics. “There are a lot of expectations from me and I am ready. I am confident of winning a medal,” said Narsingh, who clinched gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games apart from being a bronze medalist at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
“The Olympics is a dream and I have worked really hard. To ensure I am 100 per cent ready for it, I have brought in a lot of changes to my training schedule. I keep myself occupied all the time and follow my routine. My recreational activities include playing volleyball or football. I also do sprints (100m and 400m) to keep fit,” said Narsingh, a Deputy Superintendent of the Mumbai Police.
Elaborating on why he deserves his Rio place, Narsingh said: “Sushil has not participated in 74 kg category in the last four years. Overall, my performance is good. I am the first wrestler from the country to secure an Olympic berth by winning a medal at the World Championships. After winning a medal if somebody (referring to Sushil) asks for a trial, what sense does it make?”