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Venues shifted ahead of trials, Sushil hopes to get back to winning terms

Venues shifted ahead of trials, Sushil hopes to get back to winning terms

Srijanee D. Majumdar

Published: 24 July 2019 7:52 AM GMT
Two days before the trials for World Championships 2019 are slated to begin, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) shifted the men's trials from Sonepat to Delhi's Indira Gandhi Stadium, in a quest to provide 'better organisation facilities' to the grapplers. The federation is believed to have arrived at this decision after a few referees requested that the venue for Friday's trials be changed, for the reason that they feared for their safety at the small hall at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat. "We have shifted the venue to IG stadium in Delhi because there is huge interest in World Championship trials. Fans, thousands in number, are expected to come and watch. The small wrestling hall at Bahalgarh cannot accommodate so many fans,"
WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI. However, history has it that even the IG stadium in Delhi witnessed ugly scenes during the 2018 Commonwealth Games trials when supporters of star wrestler Sushil Kumar and Praveen Rana clashed in an ugly brawl. The two-time Olympic medallist Kumar has sent his entry for the trials in the 74 kg category, hence, ending weeks of speculation. The 36-year-old confirmed that he will be trying his luck to represent India at yet another World Championships starting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from September 14. His entry in the trials reminds one of how Kumar's dreams to make it to the Rio Olympics 2016 were jolted after a Delhi High Court order paved way for Narsingh Yadav's participation in the quadrennial event as it was the latter who had secured the Olympics quota for himself. The World Wrestling Championships will be the first chance for Indian grapplers to book a berth for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. The men's trials will begin on Friday and it has been decided that there will be trials for only six Olympic weight categories — 57kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg. Sushil has, however, been out of the wrestling scene for long, with the 2018 Commonwealth Games being the last time that the wrestling icon participated in a major event. The star grappler, who has been training with his personal coach Malikov Kamal at Dagestan’s Kayakent sports school in Russia, will do all he can to add the final missing piece of metal to his trophy cabinet. With yet another Olympic year signalling its entry, the country's ace wrestler is set to join as one of the top favourites to pose some serious challenge to the Indian wrestling fraternity.
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