Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sushil Kumar Should Be Accommodated in Olympic Team

India is in a strange situation. Two wrestlers each with potential to win a medal for India. Sushil Kumar is two time Olympic medallist. Narasingh is in great form. He has won several medals in international arena in 74 kg category, most recent being winning medal in world championship. Problem is only one of them can go to Rio Olympics.

Current predicament is due to altered rules for competing in Olympic wrestling. According to new rules, each country can have one quota place in each weight category.  India has won eight out of a maximum 18 quota places. Sixty eight kg category in which Sushil used to compete no longer exist. Sushil has to compete now in 74 kg category. In 74 kg category, we now have Narsingh Yadav. If a nation has one quota place and more than one athlete for the slot, then athletes need to compete among themselves to secure the quota place. 

Sushil Kumar is asking for a trial to select wrestler in 74 kg category. Narsingh Yadav is not ready for such a trial. According to Narsingh Yadav, he is the best wrestler in the category at this time. He has won medal in several championships. Last being a bronze medal in world championship in Las Vegas in 2015. Sushil Kumar has moved court for a trial.

This is an unfortunate situation for Indian medal hope in Rio games. Sushil has won medal in Olympics before. He knows how to compete under high pressure situation. Narsingh Yadav may not have not won Olympic medal, he has won medals in all other competitions he had participated. Sushil Kumar has gone to court. Even court agrees Sushil's contention but at the same time court recognizes Narshingh's achievements. 

I think Wrestling Federation of India or sports ministry or for that matter any authority must find a middle ground and accommodate both Sushil and Narshingh in the wrestling team? It would be a shame if either one the wrestlers have to miss out Rio games. According to rules, an eliminated athlete can go to the Olympics only at the invitation of the world body of the respective sport or through open qualifying events.
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