Sushil Kumar’s hopes of going to a third Olympics hung by a thread on Tuesday. The Delhi high court, which took up his petition seeking trials with Narsingh Yadav to decide India’s 74 kg freestyle entry for Rio, asked the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to meet the two-time medallist and try to settle the controversy.
However, the WFI will officially tell Sushil that he won’t go. The WFI committee, headed by its president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, will explain the difficulty in granting his wish for trials. “We’ve been asked by the honourable court to meet and tell him the reason. We have also been asked to submit a report about this meeting,” Brij Bhushan told HT.
Justice Manmohan earlier on Tuesday said the court will not interfere with the decision taken by the expert body and asked the WFI president, vice-president, secretary and coach to sit with Sushil and try to resolve the issue.
“Since the federation has decided to send the name of Narsingh Yadav, why don’t you call and explain everything to Kumar,” the court said. Sushil has brought laurels to the country and his contention was worthy of consideration by the federation, it said.
“But you cannot undermine the effort of Yadav. Without him, you would not have secured the Olympic berth,” the judge said. The court asked Sushil’s lawyer, Kaushik Moitra: “If somebody gets injured during the trials, what will happen?”
The WFI counsel told the court that till 2014, Sushil competed in 66 kg. “Now, he wants to participate in 74 kg. Yadav won bronze in the 2015 world wrestling championships. For the last two years, Kumar has been avoiding a competition with Yadav,” he said.
The court issued notices to the sports ministry, WFI, Sports Authority of India, Indian Olympic Association and Yadav, directing them to respond to Sushil’s plea by May 27.
In his bid to ensure trials, Sushil has even written to the Prime Minister’s Office, seeking an appointment with the prime minister. He has also written to the SAI DG, Injeti Srinivas.