Sushil Kumar's Rio Olympics aspirations recede
New Delhi: With the Delhi High Court yesterday directing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to hold a meeting with Sushil Kumar, the decorated grappler's hopes of competing at the Olympics seems almost over as the WFI is not keen on conducting a trial in the contentious men's 74kg category.
Sushil Kumar during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Pic/AFP
The Federation says it would set a wrong precedent and might "finish Indian wrestling".
Following the HC directive, the WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh decided to hold a meeting with the two-time Olympic medallist today (Wednesday), to sort out what has snowballed into a major controversy ahead of the mega-event in August.
Having already won two individual medals at the last two Olympics, the 32-year-old is one of India's biggest sporting icons but the WFI, notwithstanding, is keen on sending quota winner Narsingh Pancham Yadav to the upcoming Games.
"I will be conducting a meeting. Earlier, there was supposed to be a selection committee but now that the court has directed us to form a four-member committee, we will meet and then put forward our opinion," said Brij Bhushan.
The Delhi High Court said that a committee consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary and the chief coach should meet Sushil and since WFI was an autonomous body, it should solve the matter.
Harmful for wrestling
Making it clear that WFI would not like to conduct a trial, Brij Bhushan said this practice may harm Indian wrestling.
"Wrestlers believe that if they bring a quota, they will go to the Olympics. But the day if one athlete brings a quota but someone else go, that day wrestling in India would be finished. No one would work hard to bring a quota as the wrestler's may not feel secure," he insisted.
The Wrestling Federation of India yesterday pardoned Babita Kumari for forfeiting her bout in the World Qualification tournament in Mongolia in April and allowed her to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Babita had qualified after Mongolian wrestler Sumiya Erdenechimeg failed the dope test in women's 53kg freestyle event at the Asian Olympic Qualifier.