Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar on Saturday said that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has gone back on its words to conduct a trial in men’s 74kg freestyle category before the Rio Games to decide who between him and Narsingh Yadav was better.
Alleging that WFI is now back-tracking from its stand to hold a trial, Sushil said:
When the trials took place in July 2015 before the World Championships and I could not take part due to an injury, WFI had said, at that time, that even if Narsingh Yadav books a quota in 74kg, there would be a trial before the Olympics as there is Sushil Kumar also in this category. Otherwise, I would not have been working so hard.
The 32-year-old wrestler reiterated that he was not asking the WFI to send him because of his previous records at the last two Olympics, but hold a trial only.
Sushil, who won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games and a silver at London Olympics in 2012, said,
I am not even saying that you send me because of my previous records at the Olympics, all I am asking is to conduct a trial. I just want them to check my performance. If you don’t even check how am I performing right now, then how would you know who between me and Narsingh is better.
Sushil, however, added that he was not angry with the federation.
I am not angry with the federation but I feel bad that after doing so much, this is happening. I am getting support not just from the people in India but also from Indians based in USA, Canada, Australia, etc. They are asking me why the WFI is playing such politics. My job is to continue working hard and I am doing just that. I am doing everything that’s in my hand. I feel even the WFI officials should do their job properly.
Sushil said it was shameful to move the court but he had little choice.
It is shameful to go to court. I was feeling weird in the court. An athlete should be in the ground. An athlete should not be in the court. But I am so disturbed for the last few days.
The ace wrestler had approached the Delhi High Court after taking the matter to the doorsteps of Prime Minister’s Office. Sushil had also appealed to the Sports Ministry, IOA, WFI and fans to give him a chance to undergo a trial for the Rio Games, as according to the rules, quota belongs to the country and not to a particular wrestler.
Narsingh has been staking his claim to represent India at the Olympics since last year when he secured a quota place at the World Championship in Las Vegas after winning a bronze in 74kg. Sushil, who missed the event due to a shoulder injury, has been demanding a trial.
(With PTI inputs)