Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) substituted former Asian champion Amit Dhankar (74kg) over national gold-medallist Sandeep Mann in the wrestling team for the upcoming World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Veteran wrestler Sushil Kumar has been eliminated from the list of wrestlers participating in the qualifying tournament of the Olympics in Bulgaria.
The tournament serves to be the final qualifying event before the Tokyo Games. It will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from May 6 to 9. Satyavrat Kadian (97kg) and Sumit (125kg) is also included in the freestyle team besides Dhankar. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) constituted the team after discussing it in a meeting of its selection committee, said a press release signed by the assistant secretary of federation Vinod Tomer.
"To stay alive is more important at this stage. I have not spoken to WFI as yet, will speak to them", Sushil Kumar commented on his exclusion from the list. 37-year-old Kumar, one of the nation's most accomplished wrestler, had earned a silver in London Olympics and a bronze in Beijing.
The WFI stated in the release, "In freestyle, the committee has made replacement in 74 kg. Sandeep Mann, selected for Asian Qualifier and Asian Championship, didn't produce satisfactory performance. Hence, the committee decided to give a chance to Amit Dhankar who secured the second position in the selection trials held on March 16."
Committee had also made replacements in the Greco-Roman team. They made substitutions in 60 Kg. and 97 Kg. Gyanendra and Ravi, the wrestlers selected for this weight category, performed poorly in the Asian qualifier and Championship. Hence, Sachin Rana and Deepanshu, who secured 2nd positions in the selection trials, were given a chance. Sachin Rana (60kg), Aashu (67kg), Gurpreet Singh (77 kg), Sunil (87 kg), Deepanshu (97 kg) and Naveen Kumar (130 kg) comprises the Greco-Roman team.
Seema (50kg), Nisha (68kg) and Pooja (76kg) formed the Indian women's team. The committee didn't make any substitutions here as all these wrestlers had secured medals in the Qualifying competition or Asian Championship.