Millennium Post

Removing me from TOPS funding right decision, says Sushil Kumar

Removing me from TOPS funding right decision, says Sushil Kumar
Omitted from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme, India's lone double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar on Thursday gracefully accepted it, saying there was no point taking funds from the government when he is out of action. Besides Sushil, London Games bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt has also been excluded from the list, and the famous Phogat sisters -- Geeta and Babita -- faced the axe too.

"I think it is a right decision. My name should have been removed from the list since I am not in action. If I am not contributing on the mat, why should I be a part of any funding," Sushil said. "I don't want to take anything from anyone when I am not playing. I am a very satisfied person and I am absolutely fine with the move," he added. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) have sent a revised list of grapplers to the Sports Ministry for funding under by the TOPS, with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Apart from the stalwarts of Indian wrestling, the list also does not have the likes of Rahul Aware, Amit Kumar Dahiya and Praveen Rana, all of whom figured in the original list, made in 2015-16, ahead of the Rio Olympics. Keeping the future in mind, WFI has included names such as Sandeep Tomar (men's 57kg), Bajrang Punia (men's 65kg), Jitendra (men's 74kg), Ritu Phogat (women's 45kg), Vinesh Phogat (women's 48kg), Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik (women's 58kg) for the TOPS funding.

Sakshi, Vinesh and Bajrang figured in the original list of 2015-16 also. Although Sakshi has been included, some doubts have emerged over her continuation in the sport after her marriage. While Sushil was not a part of the Indian squad at the Rio Games last year following a snub by the WFI, Yogeshwar, who bowed out in the first round, had already made it clear that Rio was his last Olympics. So, Sushil and Yogeshwar's exclusion from the list hardly came as a surprise. Sushil, who has become a national observer, said he has accepted the role of observer since he is currently not active on the mat. "Since I am not playing at the moment, I have accepted the job of the national observer and I feel I can contribute in the young wrestlers' growth by performing this role. But that does not mean I would not play again. Till the time, I decide to take the mat again, I would play this role," said Sushil.
Next Story
Share it