Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt will miss the upcoming Asian wrestling championship due to injury problems.

Addressing a press conference in the run-up to the continental event, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh informed about the duo’s absence. “Sushil has a shoulder related problem. The injury had debilitated one of his hands and he had to do some physiotherapy to recover from it. Yogeshwar has a knee injury. The federation cannot force them to take part in such a situation,” said Brij Bhushan on Monday.

Freestyle wrestlers Sushil (66kg) and Yogeshwar (60kg), both former Asian champions, were always doubtful for the Asian championship due to fitness issues. However, they were picked for the event on the basis of their proven track record.

Asked why the two wrestlers were selected in the first place, Brij Bhushan said, “They had expressed their desire to participate in the event.”

Now, reserve wrestlers Amit Dhankar and Bajrang will replace Sushil and Yogeshwar respectively. “The younger wrestlers, who have been selected, are very good and we hope they will perform well,” said the WFI chief.

Altogether 237 grapplers from 19 countries would take part in the championship, to be held here from April 18 to 22. According to WFI, Pakistan did not send any entry due to some internal issues.

Meanwhile, the WFI has decided to use the platform to join the ‘Save wrestling in the Olympics’ campaign.

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