5 famous Indian wrestlers who won't be part of Tokyo Olympics 2020

Sushil Kumar (left) is the only Indian wrestler to win two Olympic medals
Sushil Kumar (left) is the only Indian wrestler to win two Olympic medals

A total of seven wrestlers will represent India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 later this month - four women and three men.

Wrestling has been a high-yielding sport for India over the past two decades. The country has won four Olympic medals in wrestling during this period - a silver and three bronze medals. At the Tokyo Olympics 2020, the Indian contingent will look to add to this tally.

Also read: All you need to know about India's history in wrestling at the Summer Olympics

However, some of the most famous Indian wrestlers who represented the country in the previous Summer Games will be missing in action in Tokyo. Let us take a look at who they are and why they will miss the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Also Checkout: Tokyo Olympic 2020 Schedule

Also read: Indian wrestling at Tokyo Olympics 2020: All the participants, events, schedule, streaming details

5 famous Indian wrestlers who are not going to the Tokyo Olympics 2020

#1 Sushil Kumar

Sushil Kumar is one of the top wrestlers India has ever produced. The 38-year-old was instrumental in popularizing wrestling in the country. Sushil Kumar made his Olympic debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he finished 14th in the men's 60 kg category.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Sushil Kumar ended India's 56-year medal drought in wrestling by winning bronze in the 66 kg category. The world champion appeared in his third successive Summer Games at the 2012 London Games. This time, he took home the silver. He was the first Indian athlete to win two Olympic medals since the country's independence.

Sushil Kumar had hoped to participate in his final Summer Games in Tokyo. However, his dream was shattered when he was not picked for the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.


Also read: Bajrang Punia at the Tokyo Olympics 2020: SWOT Analysis

#2 Yogeshwar Dutt

Yogeshwar Dutt is another wrestler who played a vital role in making wrestling one of India's most popular sports. The 38-year-old made his Olympic debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics but was knocked out in the first round. Four years later, Yogeshwar reached the quarterfinals in Beijing.

Entering the 2012 London Olympics as a medal hopeful, he won bronze in the 60 kg freestyle. He was the third Indian wrestler, after KD Jadhav and Sushil Kumar, to win an Olympic medal.

Yogeshwar Dutt suffered a shock exit in the first round at the 2016 Rio Olympics. After retiring in 2018, he is now mentor and guide to Bajrang Punia, one of India's medal hopefuls in Tokyo.

Also read: “He needs to stay switched on” - Yogeshwar Dutt believes Bajrang Punia can win a medal at Tokyo Olympics

#3 Geeta Phogat

Geeta Phogat's international success changed the landscape of women's wrestling in India. She is the daughter of former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and elder sister to Babita Kumari Phogat.

Geeta Phogat made her Olympic debut at the 2012 London Olympics. This was the first time an Indian female wrestler had qualified for the event. She lost in the first round of the 55 kg category to Canada's Tonya Verbeek. She competed in the repechage round but lost her first match.

The 32-year-old has not competed in international tournaments since 2015. Her cousin Vinesh Phogat will now carry the family's hopes of winning an Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Also read: Phogat family waits in hope for 20-year-old Olympic dream to come true

#4 Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik shot to fame when she became the first Indian female wrestler to win an Olympic medal at the Rio Olympics. Though she lost in the quarterfinals in the 58 kg category, she eventually won a bronze through the repechage round.

Sakshi failed to qualify for Tokyo, losing to Sonam Malik in the national selection trials for the Asian Olympic qualifiers.


Also read: "I just did what I enjoyed most - wrestle" - Sakshi Malik relives her Rio Olympics glory

#5 Narsingh Yadav

Narsingh Yadav is another prominent wrestler who won't compete in Tokyo. The 31-year-old qualified for his debut Summer Games at the 2012 London Olympics. However, his campaign ended in disappointment after he was knocked out in the first round.

At Rio, he was handed a four-year ban a day before his first bout, after testing positive for metandienone. This came after the World Anti-Doping Agency challenged NADA's decision to give him a clean chit at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ban also shattered Narsingh Yadav's dream of representing India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Also read: Ranking the Indian wrestlers according to their medal chances at Tokyo Olympics 2020

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Edited by SANJAY K K