New Delhi: In what could turn out to be a setback for Indian grapplers, the international wrestling federation (Fila), on Tuesday night, decided to scrap the freestyle 60 and 66 kg weight categories from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
India had won three medals in these two categories in the last two Olympic Games. While Sushil Kumar won a bronze and a silver in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London in the 66kg, Yogeshwar bagged a bronze in 60 kg at London.
Fila said two weight categories will be added in the women’s section in the next Olympics. The two new categories will replace a weight class in men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman section.
Now the light classes in men’s freestyle will be 57 and 65 kg instead of 55kg, 60kg and 66kg. In Greco-Roman, the two light classes now will be 59kg and 66kg and not 55kg, 60kg and 66kg as they were in the London Olympics.
Freestyle middleweight will remain at 74kg, followed by 86kg, 97kg and 125kg for heavyweights. Greco-Roman wrestlers will also compete at 75kg, 85kg, 98kg and 130kg.
Both Sushil and Yogeshwar will have to move up to higher weight categories of 74 and 65kg, respectively.
The changes will also affect India’s two other leading wrestlers – Amit Kumar and Narsingh. While Amit won a silver in the World Championships in the 55kg, Narsingh reached last eight in the same meet.
Sushil Kumar sounded disappointed. “This is definitely not good news. Though we still have three years left for Rio, I might have to compete in the 74kg. It is not going to be an easy task but I am not going to give up,” he said.