Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Sushil doubt­ful for Asian meet

- Navneet Singh navneet.singh@htlive.com

NEWDELHI: Sushil Ku­mar’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the up­com­ing Asian Wrestling Cham­pi­onships, to be held at Kyr­gyzs­tan from Fe­bru­ary 24 to March 4, is doubt­ful.

While con­firm­ing the devel­op­ment, his long time coach Yashvir Singh said that his knee in­jury had ag­gra­vated last week dur­ing a prac­tice ses­sion. The Dronachary­a awardee added that if Sushil isn’t able to train prop­erly for 15-20 days be­fore the Asian meet, he will not com­pete. “If you aren’t fit, chances of get­ting in­jured again are very high. Tak­ing risk in the con­ti­nen­tal meet and then miss­ing other ma­jor events isn’t good,” he added.

To re­cover from the in­jury, the two-time Olympic medal­list with­drew from the on­go­ing the third edi­tion of Pro Wrestling League (PWL) that be­gan on Jan­uary 9.

The in­jury cropped up on De­cem­ber 29 dur­ing the na­tional selec­tion tri­als for Asian cham­pi­onships and Com­mon­wealth Games held at the Cap­i­tal.

Af­ter the tri­als, fo­cus shifted to PWL. Dur­ing the play­ers’ auc­tion, Sushil was picked up by Delhi Sul­tans for ~55 lakh, the high­est in the league. How­ever, Sushil had to be re­placed by Vinod Om­prakash in the 74kg.

Sushil’s ab­sence will also mean that his mouth-wa­ter­ing bout against arch-ri­val Parveen Rana, who is rep­re­sent­ing Veer Marathas, will not hap­pen.

Sushil has been In­dia’s most suc­cess­ful wrestler in the Olympic Games—he won medals in back-to-back editions, in 2008 and 2012.

How­ever, his come­back to the com­pet­i­tive sport reeks of his grow­ing clout. At the na­tional cham­pi­onships in In­dore, he was crowned cham­pion amidst con­tro­versy as he got three walkovers. Also, af­ter the na­tional tri­als, Rana had al­leged that Sushil’s sup­port­ers had thrashed his brother Naveen. Rana has lodged a com­plaint with Delhi Po­lice. Even though the coach has ex­pressed doubts over Sushil’s fit­ness for Asian Cham­pi­onships, the Wrestling Fed­er­a­tion of In­dia (WFI) isn’t rul­ing him out. “He is there on the list,” said Vinod To­mar, sec­re­tary, WFI. Sushil, how­ever, remains a cer­tainty for the Com­mon­wealth Games in April. “There is enough time for the Games. He (Sushil) should be fit by then,” said Yashvir.

 ?? HT ?? Sushil Ku­mar.
HT Sushil Ku­mar.

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