Left with no other option, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar moved the Delhi High Court with a plea to direct the Wrestling Federation of India to conduct a selection trial to decide who will represent India in men’s 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Games.
Sources claimed the HC could hear the matter tomorrow. “We had no option but to take the matter to the court as Sushil wants a chance to undergo a trial,” a source close to Sushil said.
After his name did not figure in India’s Rio preparatory camp, Sushil today suffered yet another setback as Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ruled out intervention in the selection battle for the Rio Olympics, saying that the matter is for the WFI to decide.
With the WFI reluctant to conduct trails in 74kg to decide who between Sushil and Narsingh Pancham Yadav would eventually represent India at the Rio Olympics, the former world champion had taken the matter to the doorsteps of the Prime Minister’s Office. He, though, is yet to get a response. He had also appealed to the Sports Ministry, Indian Olympic Association, WFI and the fans.
Even the WFI had sought the Sport Ministry’s intervention to resolve the raging furore but Sonowal today made it clear that “Government has nothing to do with it and the Federation, which is an autonomous body, is the final authority.” As a last resort, the 32-year-old wrestler has finally moved the court.
According to the rules, a quota belongs to the country and not to a particular wrestler and, thus, it was expected that a trial would be held in the contentious 74kg category to chose between Sushil and Narsingh.
WFI has been giving hints that it is not too keen on holding the trial in 74kg division, fearing demands from other wrestlers in the remaining seven weight categories India has earned quotas for Rio Games.
Even as Sushil’s letter was lying with the PMO, WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had said that the federation would wait for the government to give directions on the matter.
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.