The wrestling trials for next year’s Commonwealth Games turned into an unprecedented brawl here today after double Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar beat arch-rival Parveen Rana in one of the bouts, triggering a clash between their respective supporters.
The opening day of the trials, attended by, among others, Wrestling Federation of India president Brijbhushan Singh Sharan, ended on a stormy note at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
The day was progressing smoothly till Sushil, who returned to the international arena after three years with a Commonwealth Championships gold, won all his bouts and sealed his spot in the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held at Gold Coast, Australia/
Things took an ugly turn when Rana, after losing to Sushil in the semifinal clash, claimed that the decorated wrestler’s supporters beat him and his elder brother “for daring to take the ring” against him.
Sushil, on the other hand, claimed that he had been bitten by Rana during the bout.
“...he bit me but no problem, it might be his tactics to stop me from performing well. All this is a part of sports,” a panting Sushil told reporters after the bouts.
“Whatever happened here was wrong. I condemn it. There was mutual respect after the fight ended,” he added.
Incidentally, the 34-year-old Sushil had beaten Rana in the Commonwealth Championships final.
Rana also alleged that Sushil’s supporters have given him death threats and dared him to participate in the upcoming Pro Wrestling League.