Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar is all set to make a comeback to the mat after years while Yogeshwar Dutt will continue his absence from competitive wrestling when the National Championship starts in Indore from November 15.
Sushil, who was having a training stint in Tbilisi, Georgia, rushed back to the country to take part in the selection trial against Dinesh Kumar in the 74 kg category. Another wrestler in same weight category, Praveen Rana, did not turn up for the trials.
Sushil hardly had to break a sweat as Dinesh, the national junior champion, gave him a walk over. “I am currently in my best shape mentally and physically and have started enjoying wrestling on competitive level,” Sushil, who will be representing Railways in the upcoming championship, was quoted as saying by PTI.
Meanwhile, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Dutt confirmed that he would not be competing in the Nationals. The Wrestling Federation of India confirmed that other big names such as Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, the Phogat sisters – Geeta and Vinesh – are expected to fight for top honours. Babita Kumari, though, pulled out of the tournament with an injury.
Sushil recently announced that he was happy to work his way up the ranks to earn a spot in the Nationals. “I want to wrestle the best because I am ready,” he said. “People ask why I am beginning from Railways when I can directly go and play the Nationals, but I do not want any controversy this time.
We need to wrestle the best in the country. One should never stop and the same is with me. I will wrestle the way I used to wrestle before. The new wrestlers are good but I believe in my ability,” Sushil was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
The 34-year-old was last seen action at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where he finished with a gold. Sushil was stopped from taking part at the Rio Olympics in 2016 after the WFI reneged on its promise of holding a trial to decide who among him and and Narsingh would represent India at the Rio Games.