No Sushil, but trials to go ahead



The injured wrestler had asked for a postponement

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will go ahead with trials in the men’s freestyle 74kg category despite a postponement request from the injured Sushil Kumar.

However, the celebrated grappler may get a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in March.

Hand injury

Sushil, who has been struggling to revive his career, has pulled out of Friday’s trials citing a hand injury and had requested trials in his category to be postponed.

The winners of the trials will be part of the Indian team for the season’s first ranking series tournament in Rome (January 15-18), Asian Championship in New Delhi (February 18-23) and the Asian Olympic Qualifier in Xian, China, from March 27 to 29.

WFI President Brij. Bhushan Sharan Singh said the trials will be held in all categories — five Olympic classes in men’s freestyle and six in Greco-Roman.

“Definitely the trials will not be postponed. We will have wrestlers competing in the 74kg. What can we do if Sushil is injured,” said Sharan.

“We will see the performance of the winner in the 74kg in the ranking series event. Then we will decide what step we need to take,” said Sharan when asked if Sushil will be given a chance to compete at the Asian qualifiers.

India had secured Olympic quotas in three men’s freestyle categories through Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) while Vinesh Phogat (53kg) was the lone woman grappler to grab a Tokyo Games quota at the World Championships in Nur Sultan.

While Ravi, Deepak and Vinesh have been asked to compete in the trials, competition in their categories will be held only for the Rome and New Delhi events.

“If the WFI feels that we do not have a strong candidate for the Asian qualifier (for Tokyo Games) in March, the federation may ask Sushil to appear in a trial,” said WFI assistant-secretary Vinod Tomar.

Will be back

Sushil has been training vigorously with Russian coach Kamal Malikov. “I will be fit in two weeks’ time. Don’t worry, I will be back. I had sustained this hand injury after the Worlds while training. The WFI knew about it. It’s ok if they are going ahead with the trials,” said Sushil.

The women’s trials will be held in Lucknow on Saturday.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:36:47 PM |

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