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Sushil to fight Narsingh for slot in World C’ship bound squad


New Delhi: Amidst the dilemma of double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav fighting each other for a place in the World Championships, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has decided to hold selection trials of the senior grapplers on July 6-7.

The World Championships, which is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from September 7-12, will also be the first qualification tournament for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Sushil, who had bagged a bronze and a silver in 66kg Men’s Freestyle category in successive Olympic Games in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London, was forced to move up 74kg division after the world body FILA re-jigged the weight divisions.

Since Sushil climbed up the weight category, he has competed only twice but on both occasions, he made the nine-kilogram addition look like a cake-walk.

After a successful campaign in London Olympics, he took a long sabbatical. Having made a comeback in May last year, Sushil, straight away competed in his new weight category at the Senior International wrestling tournament in Italy and finished with a silver medal. He then followed it up with a gold in the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow in July 2014.

But since then, Sushil has not competed in any tournament for almost a year now, and in his place, Narsingh has been regularly representing India in 74kg Freestyle category.

In the last one year, Narsingh has won quite a few medals for India in various competitions in the absence of Sushil.

The World Championships will provide the largest number of qualification berths with top six wrestlers in each of the 18 Olympic weight categories will qualify their nation for their weight.

The WFI had earlier decided not to hold selection trials for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 and thus, had paved the way for Sushil and London Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt to make a comeback after a two-year gap with a direct qualification.

WFI’s decision did not go down well with some wrestlers and they had moved court against the Federation.

But both Sushil and Yogeshwar won gold in CWG, putting to rest all apprehensions. Yogeshwar has also climbed up the weight category to 65kg from 60kg, in which he had bagged the Olympic medal.

Meanwhile, the selection trails for the Junior teams will be held on June 25-26.

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