Jitender Kumar wins 74kg trials; can end Sushil Kumar's Olympic dreams
World Championship stars Deepak Punia (86kg) and Ravi Dahiya (57kg) did not have to break much sweat as they were given direct entries in the final which they won easily
New Delhi: Jitender Kumar earned a chance to shut the door on celebrated Sushil Kumar's hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic by winning the 74kg trials for the season-opener in Italy and the Asian Championships on Friday. However to compete at the Tokyo Olympic qualification event, Jitender will have to impress the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) with medal-winning performances in Rome and New Delhi.
World Championship stars Deepak Punia (86kg) and Ravi Dahiya (57kg) did not have to break much sweat as they were given direct entries in the final which they won easily. They had earned their Olympic quotas at the World Championship in Nur-Sultan. Sumit Malik (125kg) and Satyawart Kadian (97kg) also locked their places with smart victories over their opponents in the men's freestyle trials.
Competing in the most competitive category of the day, Jitender prevailed 5-2 in the final against Amit Dhankar while Sushil pulled out of the trails due to a hand injury. The WFI had earlier announced that winner of the Friday's trials will compete at the ranking series event in Italy (January 15-18), Asian Championships in New Delhi (February 18-23) and also the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Xian (March 27-29) but its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said they can hold fresh trials ahead of the Xian event.
"If we find that performance of our wrestlers is not satisfying at the first two events, we can have fresh trials to select wrestlers for the Asian Olympic qualifier. We want to send our best wrestlers, so that India can have maximum number of quotas for the Olympics," Sharan said.
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