World and Commonwealth Games champion Sushil Kumar will skip next month’s Asian Games in China. The star wrestler has decided to give the Asiad a miss as he wants to recover fully from niggles that surfaced after last month’s world championships.
“The worlds is a very tough competition and immediately after, I started preparing for Delhi. I didn’t end up getting much recovery time. I need to do this because I have to be fully fit for next season, which includes Olympic qualifiers,” said Sushil Kumar.
The year 2010 has been a golden one for Sushil, as he won gold in all three major tournaments (Asian, World and Commonwealth Games) that he went to. And going by his current form, gold in the Asian Games was almost a surety.
In Sushil’s absence, Pardeep Kumar will represent the country in the 66kg category in Guangzhou.
“Peaking thrice in a year and giving the best in all tournaments is really a tough ask. We want to give Sushil some time to rest. The Olympic qualifiers are more important for us, keeping in mind the London Olympics,” said a coach.
The Wrestling Federation of India has not made any changes to the Greco-Roman team that competed in the CWG.
In the men’s freestyle team though, there are new names in four weight categories. Rajiv Tomar (+120kg), Mousam Khatri (+96) and Ram Bir (84kg), besides Pardeep, will compete at the Asiad.
Also out of the competition are gold medallists Alka Tomar and Anita. They were both beaten in the trial by Suman Kundu.
Since the Asiad has only four weight categories, the three were battling for one spot.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who would probably have bagged the tennis doubles gold, have also pulled out of the event because of ATP tour commitments.