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WFI contemplates resolution to avoid future disputes

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) seems to have learnt its lesson from the Sushil Kumar-Narsingh Yadav selection fiasco and is thinking of formulating a clear-cut resolution to avoid such disputes in the future.

Wrestler Sushil Kumar.

After the Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed two-time Olympic medallist Sushil’s plea to hold a trial between him and Narsingh to ascertain who would compete in 74kg freestyle category in the Rio Olympics, the WFI welcomed the decision and looked at ways to fine-tune the selection criteria for big events.

Big relief
WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said the Delhi High Court decision will be a big relief for the Olympic-bound wrestlers. “After this decision Narsingh will be free from pressure and be able to focus on his training.

“Other wrestlers who recently qualified for the Olympics were also under pressure in the last few days (because of the uncertainty surrounding the 74kg weight). All of them will now train hard and try to win medals for the country,” said Brij Bhushan in a statement.

“Sushil has made huge contributions to popularise Indian wrestling and he will enjoy a special place,” added the WFI chief.

Meanwhile, the court decision rejecting Sushil’s plea bolstered the WFI’s position in selection matters. “The decision is quite clear and should act as a deterrent in future.

“This would discourage other wrestlers from taking the federation to court in selection matters. Also, this has come as a boost for the federation as far as selection for the Olympics is concerned,” said a WFI official.

“Even though it is too early, this episode has prompted the federation top brass to think about formulating a resolution to give clarity on selection of wrestlers.”

Since Narsingh had won the Olympic quota place in the 74kg category by bagging a bronze in the World championship last year, the WFI followed the usual practice and named him for Rio in that section.

Former World champion Sushil Kumar, who has been out of action after the 2014 Commonwealth Games, moved the court on May 17 after the WFI did not pay heed to his request for a trial.