As the impasse around India’s representation in the 74-kg men’s wrestling category at the Rio Olympics shows no signs of abating, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Saturday sought the intervention of the Sports Ministry in sorting out the contentious dilemma.
While Narsingh Yadav insisted that going to the Brazilian capital is his right as he secured the quota in the 74 kg category with a bronze medal finish in last year’s World Championships, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who also won gold in the same category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has called for trials to be conducted to determine who should go to Rio.
However, the WFI has found itself in an unwanted territory after picking Narsingh over Sushil, who clinched bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the London Games four year later, in the list of probables sent to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Earlier, WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had said it has been a tradition to send the quota-place winning wrestlers to the Olympics, although a quota belongs to the country.
On Friday, Sushil wrote a letter to Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, requesting him to conduct a wrestling trial.
So far seven grapplers have secured their berths for Rio Games, the most for India in the sport at any Olympics.
With the issue now threatening to snowball into a massive furore, the WFI is likely to meet next week to break the deadlock.