Owing to Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar's recent form, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has decided to put Parveen Rana and Jitendra Kumar on standby for the Asian Games. WFI had exempted Sushil Kumar from the qualification trials as he won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games.
Concerns over Sushil Kumar's poor form has led the Wrestling Federation of India to plant two standby players for Sushil in the Asian Games, starting from August 18, in Jakarta and Palembang. Sushil Kumar has been training in Georgia, away from the national camp. In Tbilisi Grand Prix from July 3-5, he got overwhelmed in the first round by 4-8 against Poland's Andrzej Piotr Sokalski, losing his first bout in four years.
“In case he drops out at the eleventh hour due to some reason, we have a standby. We have also sent their entries,” an official from WFI said.
“The feedback we get gives an impression that his training is going on well, but then he tamely lost in the qualification round and it doesn’t augur well. Since we have given him exemption from the national camp, he is training on his own. Hence we don’t have
Earlier this year in February, Sushil had withdrawn at the last moment from Asian Championships held in Kyrgyzstan due to his knee injury and was replaced by Parveen Rana. However, he went ahead to win gold in the 74 kg category in the Commonwealth Games. Starting August 3, Sushil will be training in Georgia for ten days and will directly join the national team in Jakarta.
According to his previous records in Asian Games, he won a bronze medal in the Doha Asian Games, held in 2006. However, he did not participate in the 2010 and 2014 Games. Along with Sakshi Malik (62kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Vinesh Phogat (52kg), Sushil was exempted from taking the qualification trials in the second week of June at Sonepat, Haryana.
WFI has some concerns over Sakshi Malik's poor form as well. According to them, she is not able to transform her vigorous training into a match-winning performance.
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