New Delhi/ Calcutta: Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar described the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to scrap wrestling from the 2020 Olympics as “shocking”.
“I was at the practice session when someone informed me about the IOC decision,” said Sushil. “I know its still eight years away but it will take the sheen out of the sport. Going to Olympics is every youngster’s dream. It’s shocking,” he added.
“I don’t see any reason why IOC decided to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic programme. I am still finding it difficult to come to terms with the news,” Sushil.
“In my view, the IOC would find it difficult to remove it from the list given the sport’s huge popularity across the globe. It’s a famous sport,” said Sushil.
London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt said it was a huge setback for aspiring wrestlers in the country.
Yogeshwar saw the IOC move as a blow to long-term wrestling programme in the country.
“I believe the government and the federation chalked out a plan for the 2020 Olympics. That’s gone now… I am extremely disappointed,” said Dutt.
“What about the upcoming wrestlers? What about their future? Sushil won medals in Beijing and London and I won it in London too. We are targeting the 2016 Rio Olympics but there are other young wrestlers who are preparing for the next edition. What about them?” added Dutt.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) alleged the international wrestling federation (Fila) was having problems with IOC on vote-politics.
“The IOC decision could be influenced by that. Also, Asians were winning medals in Olympics, especially in the lower weights,” the official pointed out.
“Wrestling has been a part of every Olympics. I am sure if a European country bags the right to host the 2020 Olympics they will definitely include wrestling. I will also be writing to Fila to make a strong representation for re-inclusion of wrestling in the Olympics,” WFI secretary Raj Singh said.