Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Sushil doubtful for Asian meet
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.