New Delhi, June 9: Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar was at the epicentre of yet another controversy on Saturday with upcoming wrestler Parveen Rana crying foul over the selection process of the Indian squad for the Asian Games. Sushil (74 kilogram) and Bajrang Punia (61kg) were selected without a trial since the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) felt that the duo were too superior to other wrestlers in their respective categories.
Rana however, alleged that the WFI is biased in Sushil’s favour.
“First the WFI said that there will be a trial for the 74kg division. Then they said that there will no trial and Sushil has been selected. The WFI said that Sushil has been selected on the basis of his performance at the Commonwealth Games,” Rana told IANS.
“If this continues, then me and other junior wrestlers will not be able to represent the country. It will ruin our careers,” he lamented.
Rana also criticised the WFI’s selection process for the World Championships to be held from October 20-28.
“There will be trials for the World Championships around 10-15 days later. Then those wrestlers in the 74kg category who have not participated in the Asian Games will compete against each other and the winner will then challenge Sushil,” the 25-year-old said.
“So in that case we will have to give extra effort at the trials while Sushil will only have to compete in one bout,” he added.
WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar however, argued that the selection process is clean and above board.
“Our target is to win medals. Sushil and Bajrang are the best in the categories. If they have to compete at the trials, then they will feel mentally disturbed. So we decided to give them a direct berth to enable them to carry on with their preparations and avoid the hassle of preparing for the trials,” Tomar said.
“Rana has been given a chance at the international level in the recent past and his performance was not up to the mark. He cwas eliminated in the first round at the Asian Championships. The Asian Games are tougher than the Asian Championships,” he added.
“Sushil is a double Olympic medallist and the best wrestler in India. Rana has not been able to beat him even once. He lost to Sushil at the nationals and the Commonwealth Championships.”
In other freestyle categories, Mausam Khatri beat Satyawrat Kadiyan to book his spot in the 97kg division. Pawan Kumar (86kg) and Sumit (125kg) also made the cut.
However, the trials in the 57kg category are yet to be completed as Sandeep Tomar, Utkarsh Kale and Ravi garnered equal number of points and will have to compete again.
In the Greco-Roman categories, Gyanendra (60kg), Manish (67 kg), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Harpreet Singh (87 kg), Hardeep (97kg) and Naveen (125 kg) will represent India at the Asian Games. IANS