Olympic hopes recede for wrestler Sushil Kumar as he meets WFI today
With the Delhi High Court directing WFI to hold a meeting with Sushil Kumar on Monday, the decorated grappler’s hopes of competing at the Olympics seems almost over as the Federation is not keen on conducting a trial .other sports Updated: May 18, 2016 01:49 IST
With the Delhi High Court directing WFI to hold a meeting with Sushil Kumar on Monday, the decorated grappler’s hopes of competing at the Olympics seems almost over as the Federation is not keen on conducting a trial in the contentious men’s 74kg category.
The Federation says it would set a wrong precedent and might “finish Indian wrestling”.
Following the HC directive, the Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh decided to hold a meeting with the two-time Olympic medallist on Tuesday, to sort out what has snowballed into a major controversy ahead of the mega-event in August.
Having already won two individual medals at the last two Olympics, the 32-year-old is one of India’s biggest sporting icons but the WFI, notwithstanding, is keen on sending quota winner Narsingh Pancham Yadav to the upcoming Games.
“I will be conducting a meeting tomorrow. Earlier, there was supposed to be a selection committee but now that the court has directed us to form a four-member committee, we will meet tomorrow and then put forward our opinion,” Brij Bhushan told PTI on Monday.
The Delhi High Court said that a committee consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary and the chief coach should meet Sushil at the earliest and since the federation was an autonomous body, it should try and resolve the matter amicably.
The court has also sought the response of the Sports Ministry and WFI and asked them to file their affidavits before its next hearing on May 27.
Making it clear that WFI would not like to conduct a trial, Brij Bhushan said this practice may harm Indian wrestling severely.
“Till now, a wrestler believes that if he/she brings a quota, he/she will go to the Olympics. But the day it would become a norm that even if one athlete brings a quota but someone else may go to the Olympics, that day wrestling in India would be finished. No one would work hard to bring a quota as the wrestlers may not feel secure,” he insisted.
The WFI president also said that this ongoing furore has put qualified wrestlers in other division under pressure too.
“Because of this issue, our other qualified wrestlers are also under pressure and not just the ones in 74kg. Everyone is worried that if trial is conducted in one category, then others will also demand for trials. This is also not justified that we hold trial in just one weight division. So all the grapplers, who have qualified are disturbed and that is hampering their preparations,” said Brij Bhushan.