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Confusion over Sushil or Narsingh for Rio Olympic wrestling prevails

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 12, 2016 13:26 IST
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‘No decision is yet being taken, WFI president is going to take the decision on whether and when to hold the trails’

Sushil Kumar

IMAGE: Sushil Kumar. Photograph: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), on Thursday, denied sending any list of Olympic probables, sans Sushil Kumar, to the Indian Olympic Association, insisting that the two-time medallist is not yet out of contention for the Rio Games.

WFI clarified that it has been a regular practice for the United World Wrestling to send the list of all those who have secured berths in their respective weight categories at various Olympic qualifying tournaments to IOA.

Emphasising that the probables list not having Sushil's name does not mean he would not go to Rio, WHI said that president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will take a decision on holding the trials.

"This list of probables is not sent by WFI but by the United World Wrestling. After all the trials are over, the world body compiles the names of all those wrestlers who have secured Olympic berths for their country in various divisions at different qualifying tournaments and send it to their respective Olympic Federations," WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said.

The official remained not committal over whether Sushil or Narsingh Yadav will represent India at the Olympics in men's 74kg freestyle category, reiterating that the decision to hold the trials is yet to be taken.

"No decision is yet being taken, WFI president is going to take the decision on whether and when to hold the trails. So question on whether Sushil is not going does not arise," said Tomar.

Narsingh had secured the Olympic quota place for India last year at the World Championship in Las Vegas after winning a bronze medal in 74kg category. Since then the Maharashtra grappler has been staking his claim for the berth, while former world champion Sushil has been asking for trials.

Sushil had won a bronze medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver at the London Games four year later in men's 66kg freestyle. Since the weight divisions were rejiged by the world body, Sushil has moved up a division to 74kg.

Narsingh had participated at the 2012 London Olympics in 74kg category itself.

Ministry won't interfere in Narsingh, Sushil issue

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, on Thursday, refused to be drawn into the raging controversy on the Olympic participation of wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav, saying he won't ‘interfere’ in the matter and it has to be resolved by the Federation.

"It is the Federation criteria that has to be followed. We can't interfere. They are autonomous body. It is the responsibility of the Federation," Sonowal said categorically at a ministry program.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has so far not clarified on the issue, leaving room for speculation and controversy.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Joint Secretary Rakesh Gupta said even if Sushil's name was not in the probables list sent to them by WFI for accreditations, his name can still be added later.

Sonowal said according to the inputs he has received from various National Sports Federations (NSFs), there is a strong possibility that India can win more than 10 medals.

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