Sushil VS Narsingh: What’s The Tussle About?

Shushil VS Kumar -->

Indian wrestlers, Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav, recently got involved in a  raging debate on which of the two should represent India in the 74 kg category at the Rio Olympics 2016.

Take a quick look at what led to the debate between the 2 wrestlers:

Sushil Kumar is India’s most accomplished wrestler

Sushil Kumar is a double Olympic medalist having won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics in the 66kg men’s freestyle category. Sushil Kumar has a massive fan following and is perhaps the most idolized wrestler in India.

But due to a shoulder injury, Sushil Kumar was unable to qualify for the Rio Olympics

Instead, Narsingh Yadav participated in the 2015 World Championship in the 74kg mens freestyle category and won the bronze medal. According to the Olympic “quota system”, this win automatically qualified him to represent India (in the same 74kg category) at the 2016 Olympics this August.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) favoured Narsingh Yadav over Sushil Kumar

According to the WFI Chief, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Federation must follow “parampara” (or tradition) and support Yadav. The WFI even organized to start Yadav’s training for the Olympics.

This angered Sushil Kumar, who took to social media and even approached the Prime Minister

Sushil Kumar tweeted #Justice4Sushil which quickly became viral and requested for PM Modi’s intervention. He argued that the country has invested a significant amount on his training and that he has already proved he has the experience and talent to compete in the games.

Sushil moved the Delhi High Court after WFI and the Government refused to intervene

Former Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal refused to interfere in WFI affairs because the organization is “autonomous,”. On the other hand, the WFI said that its hands are tied unless the government disagrees on the India wrestling representative. This led Sushil Kumar to approach the Delhi High Court demanding a winner-takes-all wrestling match with Narsingh Yadav to determine who goes to the Olympics. 

On June 6th, 2016, the Delhi High Court ruled against Sushil Kumar

The court noted that the sports code does not mandate holding a trial, but instead leaves the choice to the discretion of the relevant sporting federation. This has ended Sushil’s hopes of participating in the Olympics, and confirmed Narsingh Yadav as India’s representative for the 74 kg category in wrestling.

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