Putting to rest all speculations, it was on Wednesday confirmed that star wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt will compete in 74kg and 65kg categories respectively at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to avoid face-off against each other.
However, in the FILA competitions, including the world and the continental championships, they will compete in 70kg and 65kg categories.
Two-time Olympic champion Sushil and London Games bronze medallist Yogeshwar, who were competing in the 66kg and 60kg freestyle respectively before FILA’s announcement to rejig weight classes, have conveyed their decision to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) after a series of discussions with the national coaches.
As a result of their decision, Sushil and Yogeshwar will be seen competing in the 70kg and 65kg in the Colorado Springs tournament which will mark their return to the international arena since the 2012 London Games.
This will be the first time post FILA’s announcement that the two star grapplers will compete in the higher weight categories in the Dave Schultz Memorial International tournament from January 30 to February 1 in the USA.
“Sushil has decided to compete in 70kg for the FILA competitions while for Olympic qualifiers, Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, he has decided to move to 74kg to avoid any face-off against Yogeshwar. His childhood buddy Yogeshwar has also decided to move to 65kg from his traditional 60kg for Olympic events and FILA championships,” chief national coach Vinod Kumar told PTI.
“The decision was arrived at after a series of talks with both the wrestlers. It was a tough decision but was taken keeping in mind the interest of our nation,” he added.
Sushil has struggled every time he had to reduce his weight to compete in 66kg. Yogeshwar has won his Olympic medal in the 60kg category in 2012 while Sushil competed in 66kg for his historic silver at the London Games.
Kumar also informed that World Championship silver medallist Amit Kumar Dahiya will move to 57kg in the Olympic and FILA events as 55kg has been scrapped. He will compete in the 57kg at the Dave Schultz Memorial International.