Former Asian champion Amit Dankar (74kg) replaced national gold medalist Sandip Mann on Thursday in the Indian wrestling team for the upcoming World Cup qualifier, signaling the end of the road for veteran Sushil Kumar.
The tournament, which will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 6-9, will be the last qualifying event before the Tokyo Games. One of the country’s most successful athletes, Sushil won silver at the 2012 London Olympics, four years after bronze in Beijing.
After not considering a choice, 37-year-old Sushil told PTI, “It’s more important to stay alive at this point. I haven’t talked to WFI yet, I’ll talk to them.”
The team was selected by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) following a meeting of the selection committee, the federation said in a press release signed by Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar.
In addition to Dankar, the rest of the freestyle team includes Satyavrat Kadian (97 kg) and Sumit (125 kg). “In freestyle, the commission made a substitution weighing 74 kg. Sandip Man, selected for the Asian qualifiers and the Asian Championships, did not give satisfactory results. Therefore, the commission decided to give a chance to Amit Dankar, who secured second place in the selection of trials held at March 16, “the WFI said in a statement.
The Greco-Roman team included Sachin Rana (60 kg), Aashu (67 kg), Gurpreet Singh (77 kg), Sunil (87 kg), Deepanshu (97 kg) and Naveen Kumar (130 kg).
“In Greek-Roman style, the commission made substitutions in 60 Kg. And 97 Kg. The wrestlers selected in these weight categories – Gyanendra and Ravi, respectively, showed poor performance in both competitions (Asian qualifier and Asian championship).
“Therefore, the committee gave a chance to Sachin Rana and Deepanshu, who secured 2nd positions in the selection tests.
Siema (50 kg), Nisha (68 kg) and Puja (76 kg) form the team of Indian women. “The committee did not consider it appropriate to make any substitutions in these weight categories, as all these wrestlers secured medals either in a qualifying competition or in an Asian championship.”