Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav believes that he deserves a direct entry to the Olympics after he won India’s quota in the event with a bronze at the World championships last year. But Narsingh might need to compete against Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar to confirm his place in the event.
Narsingh won India’s first 2016 Olympics quota in Wrestling back in September last year, and his remarkable achievement brought Indian wrestling into an unwanted situation of choosing one among two, with two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar also competing in the same category. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is likely to conduct trials to decide India’s representative for the event, but Narsingh believes that he deserves a place in the quadrennial event after winning the quota.
“I think there is no need for trials. When we go for a competition abroad we are selected for the team through a trial. I took trials for a place at the World Championships. I won bronze there. I believe I should be given a direct entry to the Olympics. Traditionally, anyone who has won a quota place for India went on to participate in the main competition also. From that point of view, I should be given a chance,” Narsingh told News18 in an exclusive interview.
The 26-year-old, who is busy with the preparations for the quadrennial event, added that the federation hasn’t informed him about the trials.
“Not so far (about information of trials). I have been preparing at the national camp with the mindset of playing at the Olympics; and since I have won the quota place, a trial doesn't look good. My preparations are going well and a lot of its credit goes to the WFI, Maharashtra Police, where I am a deputy superintendent of police, and the JSW Sports Excellence Programme, which is my sponsor,” Narsingh added.
Narsingh’s comments come on the back of Sushil Kumar’s comments about trials being necessary to assess the performance of the wrestlers.
“Of course, they should be held (trials). I am not saying this because I am a party in this case, but because there has to be a proper system when it comes to such situations. Last week, Jordan Burroughs, the reigning world and Olympic champion, had to undergo trials to win a place in the US team. How else can anyone ascertain whether someone is in form when major championships are near?,” Sushil had told Hindustan Times on Thursday.
Sushil Kumar competed in the 66kg category in the last two Olympics and won a bronze medal in 2008 before bettering his mark to win the silver in 2012. The 32-year-old moved to the 74kg category after the 2012 Olympics with the 66kg category having been removed from the event. Although he won the Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Sushil hasn’t featured in a competition since then with injuries bogging him down.