Olympic gold dreams crushed? Sushil Kumar not in Rio probables’ list

Sushil Kumar’s name is missing from the list of probables forwarded to the Indian Olympic Association for the Rio Games in August — the clearest indication yet that the double Olympic medallist may miss the bus this year.

other sports Updated: May 12, 2016 17:23 IST
Vinayak Padmadeo
Vinayak Padmadeo
Hindustan Times
Sushil Kumar,Rio 2016,Wrestling
Sushil Kumar — who won both his bronze (Beijing 2008) and silver medals (London 2012) in the 66kg weight division but has now had to move up due to a change in rules — has been demanding trials to decide the right candidate for Rio.(HT Photo)

Sushil Kumar’s name is missing from the list of probables forwarded to the Indian Olympic Association for the Rio Games in August — the clearest indication yet that the double Olympic medallist may miss the bus this year.

“Sushil’s name is not in the probables’ list we have received from the WFI (Wrestling Federation of India),” an IOA source told HT.

This comes amid speculation over the 32-year-old’s participation that has been fuelled by compatriot Narsingh Pancham Yadav bagging an India quota in the same weight category (74kg) and a raging debate over whether trials should be held in this category.

Read | Next move on Rio Gold? The enormity of Sushil Kumar’s quest

Kumar — who won both his bronze (Beijing 2008) and silver medals (London 2012) in the 66kg weight division but has now had to move up due to a change in rules — has been demanding trials to decide the right candidate for Rio.

Yadav and a few others, though, are keen that the federation follow the old system of selecting the same wrestlers who win quotas.

The WFI and its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh have been dragging their feet on the matter.

Read | Why trials with Sushil? Rio berth is mine, says wrestler Narsingh Yadav

What goes against Kumar, also, is that he has largely been missing in action — his only major achievement after the silver in London was gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

This lack of playing time has been raised by federation officials. They also feel that while Kumar’s record in 66kg may be unparalleled, he has done little in the 74kg division.

Read | Trials a must, there is lot of competition for Rio spots: Sushil Kumar

Yadav, who booked his berth for Rio with a bronze at last year’s World Championships in Las Vegas, said he had nothing new to add to the debate and would rather focus on his preparations. The 26-year-old, who claims to be the best grappler in his weight category, told HT, “I have said a lot already, don’t feel the need to say anything about the trials.”

With the Games less than three months away, the federation is planning a coaching stint in Belarus and an acclimatisation trip to a South American country.

First Published: May 12, 2016 01:45 IST