Those who earn quota, go to Olympics too: Narsingh
Injury to the more fancied Sushil Kumar has handed Narsingh Yadav the chance to fight for an Olympic berth and the youngster on Tuesday said he would use all his might to ensure that he is picked ahead of the star grappler when their inevitable clash decides who goes to Rio next year.
The 25-year-old Narsingh, who earned a berth for the World Championships after defeating Praveen Rana in <g data-gr-id="64">74kg</g> category at the selection trials on Tuesday , expressed confidence of making it to the Rio Olympics as well.
As per rules, an Olympic berth is for the country concerned and not the wrestler who might have clinched it.
And India's men's freestyle chief coach Kuldeep Malik and Sushil also maintained that the 74kg division quota would be eventually decided on <g data-gr-id="57">current</g> form before the Rio Olympics.
But Narsingh has other ideas.
"While India would get a place in a particular category, but generally wrestlers who earn the country a place, go to the Olympics eventually. So let's see what happens," Narsingh told PTI.
Malik said although both Sushil and Narsingh are excellent wrestlers, a contest would take place to decide who will represent India at the prestigious event.
"We are confident that Narsingh will qualify for the 74kg slot at the upcoming World Championships.
"After our weight category is qualification is done, we would have trials again according to the rules, and whosoever is good before the Rio Games would go," the coach clarified.
Sushil added: "It would be good for the team if we could qualify early, even in <g data-gr-id="58">74kg</g> division. I am sure Narsingh will do well and book a place for India."
At the last edition of the quadrennial event in London, Sushil and Narsingh had participated in different categories.
While Sushil won a silver at the 66kg, Narsingh, a veteran of 74kg, had bowed out in the first round.
Since then Sushil has climbed up to 74kg division after the FILA, the governing body for international wrestling, re-jigged the weight categories.
Sushil had bagged a silver and a gold in two tournaments he had participated in since moving up the weight division.
But Sushil's absence from the mat for almost a year now has not only seen Narsingh regularly represent India in 74kg Freestyle but also win a few medals in various competitions.
Sushil and Narsingh were supposed to fight on Tuesday for a place at the World Championships, which is also the first qualification tournament for the Rio Olympics. But 32-year-old veteran’s injury made it easy for Narsingh.
Asked if he was confident of winning the trials had Sushil taken part, Narsingh said: “This is sports and here winning and losing depends on a game. But I feel I would have given him (Sushil) good competition and done well. “Had Sushil been there, it would have been a tough and an exciting fight. He has won two Olympic medals and is a very good wrestler.”
The coach predicted an “excellent contest” when Sushil and Narsingh eventually fight against each other.
“It would be an excellent bout. Both of them are very good wrestlers. Sushil has all the experience and Narsingh is also doing very well. Narsingh is in good form at the moment,” said Malik.