There is less than a week to go for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to kick off and, Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar’s name is surprisingly missing from entry the list released on the official website, according to reports in the Indian Express. One of India’s more decorated athletes, Kumar is a medal prospect in 74kg freestyle category will have to wait till Friday to know if he has a shot at completing a hat-trick of CWG Gold medals.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) were unaware of the situation, and when informed have promised to take this up with the organisers. The veteran wrestler is believed to have made frantic calls from Georgia to WFI.
IOA chief Narinder Batra confirmed that Sushil’s accreditation was in place and that his name was also part of the list with the final names which had been submitted during the Delegation Registration Meeting. Surprisingly, Kumar, whose equation with his teammates and the federation has not been in the best of health, is the only Indian wrestler whose name missing.
IOA president Narinder Batra said they had received Sushil’s accreditation card for the Games and confirmed that his name was also included in the Delegation Registration Meeting, where the final contingent list was handed over to the organising committee. Curiously, though, the 34-year-old, whose relationship with the federation and some teammates has soured over the last few months, is the only Indian wrestler whose name is missing.
The WFI though played down the matter as assistant secretary, Vinod Tomar said it could either be a ‘technical or clerical error’. “It could be a technical error since there the entry forms had to be submitted online. We have raised the issue with the IOA as well as the event organisers. But since it was already late in the night in Gold Coast, we will know the actual reason on Friday,” Tomar said.
Batra also added: “I have asked our contingent officials to find out what has gone wrong. Everything is clear from our end, all the paperwork was done in time and we have also received his accreditation card.”
The Gold Coast Games will be Sushil’s big comeback since the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games. Sushil missed out on the 2016 Olympics after he had a fall out with the federation.
Sushil though has not stayed away from controversy. At the Nationals last year, Sushil won Gold without hitting top gear after most competitors gave walk overs. Later that year, at the trials for the CWG his supporters allegedly beat up his opponent Parveen Rana.
In the wake of events like this, Sushil has been training alone in Georgia, while the rest of the Indian wrestlers have been in Sonepat.