After much ado that kept Sushil Kumar from participating in the World Championships trials, the wrestler has finally got a date with most of his opponents recovered from injuries. Meanwhile, Deepak Punia won the gold medal in the men’s 86kg freestyle wrestling at the Junior World Championships.
On the previous date of trials, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had held back Sushil’s category letting the wrestlers in the 74 kg recuperate from their injuries. Finally, it has been scheduled to take place on Tuesday, which is when the trials of the non-Olympic weight categories—61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg – would also take place.
Sushil, however, wouldn’t be happy seeing his biggest rival Parveen Rana take part in the trials as he is still recovering from his shoulder injury. Sushil would be facing the likes of Jitender Kumar and Amit Dhankar, who won silver at the Asian Championships. Apart from them, Vinod Kumar could also be seen participating.
36-year-old Sushil would have a lot to prove after he was ousted in the first-round exit of the Asian Games last year and then lost in the quarter-finals at the Medved International Tournament in Minsk, Belarus, last week.
With the process of entries still going on, the format of the trials hasn’t been finalized yet. “We will wait for the number of entries. If there aren’t enough competitors, it can also become a round-robin format,” said Vinod Tomar, WFI assistant-secretary, reported HT.
In the Junior World Championships, India’s Deepak Punia clinched the gold medal in the men’s 86kg freestyle wrestling category where he defeated Russia’s Alik Shebzukov 2-2 (won by scoring the last point) on Wednesday. He had won the silver last year and stepped up his game this year to win the gold. Apart from him, Vicky Chahar won the bronze in the men’s 92kg freestyle.