The stage is set. The Wrestling Federation of India has announced that the first week of January will decide the composition of the Indian wrestling team for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Games and the Asian Wrestling Championships.
As the leading grapplers will be going all-out to earn a berth for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying competition, India’s most decorated Olympian wrestler Sushil Kumar is unlikely to appear for the trials on January 3.
Sushil Kumar to skip the trials – Way forward for the Indian Champion!
WrestlingTV has learnt from its sources that the double Olympic medallist Sushil will skip the trials on January. 3 The reason for Sushil skipping the trials is not clear – but the murmurs are that Sushil is yet to fully recover from an injury.
“Sushil will meet the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) president in the next two days to convey his unavailability for the trials and to request WFI for a later date for the trials to stake his claim for a place in the Indian wrestling team for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers,” said the source.
WrestlingTV also spoke to WFI for clarity and the federation officials sounded clueless about Sushil’s decision to skip the trials. According to Vinod Tomar, the administrative secretary of WFI, – trial dates have been announced. We expect everyone to participate including Sushil,” said Tomar.
“We have no information about Sushil skipping the trials. The trial dates and norm for the selection are set and everyone will appear for the trials on the set date on January 3. In case we hear from Sushil we will see what is to be done”.
It is worth noting that Sushil last played at the Senior World Championships in Nur-Sultan in September this year and did not compete at the Nationals or any other domestic or international tournament post that. After his opening round loss at the world championships the Indian legend has kept his future plans under complete wraps.
Fight of the Generations – Sushil Kumar vs Gaurav Baliyan will be on hold for now !!
Sushil’s decision to skip the trials means, the long-awaited clash between the greatest of the Indian wrestling – Sushil and the teen sensation of the Indian wrestling – 18-year-old Gaurav Baliyan is looking unlikely now. In all probability this clash would have decided India’s representative in 74kg weight category at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in China in March.
Young Gaurav Baliyan has ticked all the boxes in the last few months as a worthy challenger to Sushil. The 18-year-old from Shoron village in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district has won the Under 23 and Senior Nationals gold this year defeating the likes of Praveen Rana on his way. He was even impressive in U23 World Championships in Budapest. In an earlier interview to WrestlingTV Baliyan had admitted that he is excited about the potential match-up with his hero and legend Sushil.
“I have never met him. I could have competed against him in the selection trials held for the World Championships earlier this year, but I failed to reach the final. I respect him. But when I wrestle against him, I will try to give my best,” Gaurav, who is attending a national camp in Sonepat, told WrestlingTV.
It looks like, for now Baliyan along with the thousands of wrestling fans in the country has to wait probably for some more time, before this battle of generations between Sushil & Baliyan sees the light.
Watch the trials LIVE only on WrestlingTV.in on 3rd and 4th January from Delhi and Lucknow. www.wrestlingtv.in is India’s only and exclusive digital streaming and reporting platform for the sport of wrestling.