Veteran wrestler Sushil Kumar has been left out of India’s team for the World Olympic Games Qualifier. This will, in all probability, end the 37-year-old’s quest for a third Olympic medal.
The Delhi-based grappler claimed a bronze in the 66 kg freestyle category at the 2008 Beijing Games. He followed it up with a silver four years later in London.
Meanwhile, former Asian champion Amit Dhankar has replaced national gold medallist Sandeep Mann in the squad for the event to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria from May 6 to 9. The tournament is the final qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics.
The team was selected by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) after a meeting of its selection committee. Sushil, who is also India's most decorated Olympian, revealed that he is yet to speak to the WFI regarding his exclusion.
Along with Dhankar, Satyawart Kadian (97 kg) and Sumi (125 kg) have also been included for the freestyle events of the Sofia fixture. The Indian women’s team will consist of Seema (50kg), Nisha (68kg), and Pooja (76kg).
Meanwhile, the Greco-Roman team will comprise Sachin Rana (60kg), Aashu (67kg), Gurpreet Singh (77 kg), Sunil (87 kg), Deepanshu (97 kg) and Naveen Kumar (130 kg).
"In free style, the committee has made replacement in 74 kg. Sandeep Mann, selected for Asian Qualifier and Asian Championship, didn't produce satisfactory performance. Hence, the committee decided to give chance to Amit Dhankar who secured second position in the selection trials held on March 16," stated WFI, in a release.
"In Greco Roman style, the committee made replacements in 60 Kg. and 97 Kg. The wrestlers selected in these weight categories -- Gyanendra and Ravi respectively gave poor performance in both competitions (Asian qualifier and Asian championship),” added the statement.