Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt to make a return in wrestling
What's the Story
Veteran wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt are set to return to the wrestling mat. The two Olympic medallists are expected to compete at the Senior Nationals in Indore next month.
This has opened up speculation that the two will be competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
In Case You Didn't Know
The Indore Nationals will be the qualification tournament for trials for the Commonwealth and the Asian Games. In women’s wrestling, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat are also set to return. The sisters have confirmed their participation in the upcoming national tournament.
Sushil is India’s only wrestler to win medals at two Olympic Games. He last competed at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He returned with the gold medal in the 74kg category three years ago. The 34-year-old has since been sidelined due to a shoulder injury. He even missed the 2016 Rio Olympics as Narsingh Yadav qualified from his weight category.
Yogeshwar, on the other hand, did compete in Rio but was knocked out in the opening round of the 65kg category. A change in weight category is on the cards for the veteran wrestler who is expected to move to 70kg for the Asian Games.
The Heart of the Matter
Sushil is training at the Chhatrasaal stadium, while Yogeshwar has been preparing at his academy in Bali, Gohana, according to The Indian Express. Sushil had previously expressed a desire to return to the mat and take part in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Geeta and Babita, who won bronze medals at the 2013 World Championships, will be competing for a spot in the Haryana state team at Senior State trials which will be held in Rohtak on October 19. Haryana sends two teams to Senior Nationals and both women grapplers are expected to be part of one of the teams.
Sources say that their participation in the Asian Games is doubtful. Their target is most likely the Commonwealth Games. However, if they do make the team for the Asiad, they will have to perform exceptionally well to beat the young wrestlers from other countries. Geeta Phogat also said that she and her sister are preparing for a return to wrestling.
It is indeed momentuous news that the two veterans are returning to the competition. Even the inclusion of Geeta and Babita will be beneficial for the nation as it increases the chances of a gold medal in the Commonwealth and the Asian Games.