The Delhi High Court dismissed a plea by Olympic medal winner Sushil Kumar, seeking trials in the 74 kg free style wrestling to enable him win a berth in the Indian squad to the Rio Olympics. Sushil Kumar won a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver in the 2012 London Olympics in the 66 kg division.
But the category was abolished by the International Wrestling Federation in 2014. This prompted him to move up to the 74 kg weight category, which brought him into competition with Narsingh Yadav, who was the top Indian wrestler in this class till then.
Sushil Kumar missed the qualification for Rio Olympics due to injury, and Narsingh Yadav secured the berth to represent the country. After repeatedly requesting the Wrestling Federation of India to hold trials anew, Sushil Kumar moved the court.
The ruling by HC could well mean Sushil Kumar’s glorious wrestling career may meet an unceremonious end . However, the verdict for Sushil may not be the end on the legal front as he can still challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court. But it could well signal the end of the road for perhaps the greatest Indian Olympian, who won two back-to-back medals.
With less than two months left for the Olympics, starting August 5, the future looks bleak for the grappler from Haryana whose injuries played a part in the entire sequence of events .
The Delhi High Court, in its last hearing gave clear indications that it was likely to give a judgement in favour of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) in the tiff over selection trials in the men’s 74kg freestyle category. The Delhi High court had observed that it did not find “any statutory mandate” to hold trials before the Olympics.