The chance for Sushil Kumar to go to the Rio Olympics 2016 is looking bleak day by day, as the two times Olympic medal winning wrestler is waiting for the Delhi High Court’s decision over his appeal for a “fair trial” against Narsingh Yadav. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Friday told the Delhi High Court that Narshing Yadav is a better bet than Sushil Kumar and vouched for Yadav to send him to the Rio Olympics 2016 to compete in the 74 KG freestyle category. However, the court has not given any verdict yet and is likely to decide on Friday which wrestler will fly to Rio.
Though Narsingh has secured the Olympic quota for India by winning a bronze medal in the World Wrestling Championship 2015, Sushil Kumar is hopeful of getting a favorable verdict from the High Court. The governing body of Wrestling, WFI claimed that Narsingh was the “most suitable wrestler” and a better candidate compared to Sushil Kumar and the Silver medal winning wrestler had “consistently” avoided Yadav to face him during the last two years in selection trials.
WFI said in its affidavit filed in the court,”The respondent number 5 (Yadav) has been found to be the best wrestler to represent India in the upcoming Olympic games. The selection has been made in a completely fair and transparent manner. No allegation of any bias, favouritism or any other prejudice has been made in the petition,”
Kumar has obviously countered the allegations and claims that he was not considered for a fair trial to get a chance to represent India at the Rio Olympics 2016 in the 74 kg category as he had not participated in the cash-rich ‘Pro-Wrestling League’.
The senior counsel Amit Sibal who is appearing for Kumar, told the High Court, “They (WFI) cannot take such an arbitrary stand that since you (Sushil) have not participated in the Pro-Wrestling League so you will not be given a chance to have a trial. Sushil is only asking for a trial.”
Justice Manmohan of Delhi High Court, who is observing the case said “Court can interfere as a last resort, that too if there is something malafide or perverse,” the court had observed last week while hearing the petition of Sushil Kumar. I don’t see any perversity in the selection of the gentleman who has won the berth. Without him competing on that day you wouldn’t have a berth. You cannot deny the fact that one of them (Yadav) has given India a place in the Olympics.”
Delhi High Court had also given orders both to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and the sports ministry, asking their responses on Kumar’s plea and also ordered them to file an affidavit latest by May 23.
Amidst of this chaos and dilemma, the WFi called a meeting last week regarding this matter in Delhi and it is believed that the governing body have decided to stick with its stand of sending Narsingh to the Rio Olympics 2016. Although WFI has not officially announced their decision, their President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had given enough hints that they would stick with their decision to send Narsingh to Rio and is going to convey to the court in favor of him.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said to the pressers after the meeting, “Hum uss khiladi ke saath injustice nahi karna chahte jisne quota jeeta hai (We don’t want injustice to be done to the athlete who has won the quota place for Rio). So there is no question of getting convinced with what Sushil had to say.”
It is worth mentioning that Sushil Kumar had competed and won medals in the 66 KG freestyle category which has been abolished by the Olympic Wrestling Committee whereas Narsingh is one of the best wrestlers in the world in the 74 KG freestyle category. So it is interesting to see now Delhi High Court give orders in which wrestler’s favor, whether they stick to Narsingh or change their decision in favor of Sushil Kumar.