Jitender Kumar wins Asian Championship trials; Sushil Kumar's Olympics chances in doubt
What's the story?
Two-time Olympics medal winner for India, Sushil Kumar could lose out on his Tokyo Olympics spot after Jitender Kumar won his qualification trials bout for the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championships in the Men's 74 kg weight category. In turn he secured a shot at qualifying for the Summer Olympics 2020 to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had announced that the winner of the trials will be chosen to compete for India at the Rome Ranking Series which will take place from between January 15-18, 2020. The winner will also be able to take part in the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi which are set to be held from February 18-23, 2020.
The heart of the matter
Jitender Kumar beat out fellow wrestler Amit Dhankar in the finals of the Men's 74 kg category event to claim his spot for the events in Rome and New Delhi. He was aggressive from the start and had a strong defensive game to counter his opponent.
Two-time Olympian Sushil Kumar missed out on the trial bouts owing to a hand injury and might lose out on his chance to make it to the grand stage in Tokyo. Sushil Kumar had previously beaten Jitender in an intensely fought trial bout for the World Championships in September 2019.
The Wrestling Federation of India made their stance clear saying that if Jitender manages to perform well in Rome and New Delhi, he will be chosen for the Olympics qualifiers.
Jitender Kumar will take to the mat with an aim to impress the Wrestling Federation of India officials and potentially seal his spot in the Olympic qualifiers to be held in Xian, China from March 27-29, 2020.