Sushil Kumar: Narsingh is not from Pakistan. Why wouldn't I support him?

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Sushil Kumar: Narsingh is not from Pakistan. Why wouldn't I support him?

no photo

Saketh RVK


With his hopes of participating in a fourth Olympics all but over, Sushil Kumar has said that training, his sole focus, is keeping him busy. An unpleasant legal battle notwithstanding, the two-time Olympic medalist said there was no reason for him not to support Narsingh Yadav in the 2016 Games.

Khel Ratna awardee Sushil Kumar, speaking to ESPN on Thursday, has said, "Training is currently my sole focus. That's what's keeping me busy."

After losing a much-publicized legal battle over his right for a trial to go to Rio, this would be much needed for the well-known wrestler. Sushil Kumar’s plea seeking a trial against Narsingh Yadav to determine India’s entry in the 74kg freestyle category at the 2016 Olympics was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on May 6. He could still challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court, but it is unlikely he will do so given his chances of winning it so close to the Olympics. The wrestler had admitted to ESPN though, that the final call would be taken by his father-in-law and coach Satpal Singh.

When asked about rooting for Narsingh Yadav at Rio, Sushil said, “Narsingh toh Pakistan ka nahi hai, support kyunnahikarengeusse?" (Narsingh is not from Pakistan. Why wouldn't I support him?), reported ESPN.

Narsingh Yadav, who has been competing in the 74kg welterweight category since 2006, had secured an Olympic quota place for India by winning the bronze medal at the World Championship in 2015. He had earlier won bronze at the 2015 Asian Championships, the 2014 Asian games, and gold at the 2010 Commonwealth games in the same category. Sushil Kumar, who had to shift from the 66kg to the 74 kg category, after the former was dropped from the Olympics, missed the World Championship due to injury. According to WFI guidelines, the quota Narsingh won was for the country and not for a particular participant. This led to Sushil Kumar, two-time Olympic medalist, claiming that a trial should be held to decide India’s representative in that category at the Rio Games. After the WFI had rejected the idea, Sushil moved court.

But, the Delhi High court struck down Sushil Kumar’s plea as not legally tenable and pulled up the wrestler for “belatedly” asking for a trial. The court also said that trials so close to the Olympics could disturb an athlete mentally and also risk an injury. This meant almost all roads were closed for Sushil, with only the Supreme Court remaining for the wrestler to approach.

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