Delhi High Court puts Sushil Kumar plea on the mat

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Narsingh Yadav gets nod for Rio.

Narsingh Yadav and Sushil Kumar.

New Delhi: Sushil Kumar’s dream of representing the country at the Rio Olympics in the 74kg weight category all but ended on Monday with the Delhi High Court dismissing the wrestler’s plea for a trial ahead of the multi-sport event in August.

The court’s decision meant Narsingh Yadav — who bagged bronze at the World Championships in Las Vegas last year — will represent India at Rio, unless Sushil decides to approach the Supreme Court.

Sushil’s coach and father-in-law Satpal Singh said they were yet to take a decision on this. “We need to discuss the matter with our lawyer and Sushil before proceeding,” he said.

The decision also ended the off-field tussle between the wrestlers over the Olympic berth, which had taken centrestage in the past few days.

However for Sushil, the day’s decision could well end his illustrious wrestling career — at least his Olympic appearances are almost certainly over.
Even if he decides to appeal his case, it will be too late, considering that the Rio Games are less than two months away.

The eight Olympic quota winner wrestlers have already reached Bulgaria for training, the WFI said.

On the day, the court termed Sushil a “legend” in the 66kg weight class but said but WFI’s contention that Narsingh was better in the 74kg category cannot be termed as “unreasonable” or “perverse”.

The court said “a sportsperson innocently asking for just a trial may be jeopardising the chances of the selected candidate to win.”

On the decision, Satpal said it was “unfortunate” as the country would miss out on a gold medal at the Olympics this time around. “The day Narsingh came back with a medal at the Worlds, the federation should have asked Sushil not to continue training. All these days, Sushil had done his career’s best preparation,” Satpal said.