Narsingh called for national camp, Sushil to train independently
Narsingh Yadav, whose four-year doping ban ended recently, has been included in the national wrestling camp that is set to resume in Sonepat from September 1. Narsingh will train in 74kg category, which also has double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar in contention. The two share a bitter past and were engaged in a controversy for selection in Rio Olympics team.
Sushil has requested exemption from the national camp and wants to train independently at the Chhatrasal Stadium here.
“Narsingh has been called for the camp. Sushil has been training with his own support staff at the Chhatrasal Stadium and he wanted to continue with the arrangement. He will be called whenever the selection trial is conducted,” said a senior Wrestling Federation of India official.
With Narsingh’s entry, the 74kg weight class has gained prominence. Sushil had opted out of the last selection trials in January due to an injury. Jitender Kumar had won the trials for the Asian Championships in January topping the strong field that included Parveen Rana, Amit Dhankar and promising Gaurav Baliyan. Jitender, who is training under Shako Bentinidis, then won silver at the Asian meet and confirmed his place for the continental Olympic qualifier in X’ian, China, which was later postponed due to the pandemic.
“The selection trials will be conducted again, “ said the WFI official.
Sushil and Narsingh are expected to throw their hats in the ring in the selection trials, making it an exciting affair.
India have so far booked three berths in men’s freestyle—Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), and Deepak Punia (86kg) from the 2019 world championships. All three are part of the national camp. There will be two more Olympic qualifiers—continental and world—in March-April.
A total of 26 wrestlers in eight weight categories—five in freestyle and three in Greco Roman—will take part in the month-long camp, the first after a break of five months. The women’s camp will be held in Lucknow with 15 wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat, Pooja Dhanda, Sakshi Malik and Divya Kakran.
As per the Sports Authority of India protocol, athletes, coaches and support staff joining the camp will be given mandatory Covid test upon arrival at the camp and they will resume training after a14-day quarantine.