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Sushil was declared the winner in the 74kg category in the National Wrestling Championship in Indore on Friday after three wrestlers, including the finalist, Praveen Rana, gave him walkovers.
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During the quarterfinal and semifinal matches, Sushil’s opponents came to the mat, touched his feet and then he was declared the winner.
The referee, in fact, applauded the gesture of the two wrestlers, saying, “Dekhiye, yehi humari parampara hai (Look, this is our tradition).”
‘Giving a walkover is not illegal’
Finalist Rana, who was sent to the 2016 Rio Olympics by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) after the Narsingh-Sushil controversy, cited a thigh injury and gave Sushil a walkover in the final. Sushil’s quarterfinal opponent was Parveen, who was representing Haryana’s B team, while his semifinal rival was Sachin Rathi of Uttar Pradesh. He was competing in the nationals after 2008 and taking part in a competitive tournament after three years.
“Giving a walkover is allowed. It isn’t illegal, but whosoever does this should give a legitimate reason to the technical committee. The committee decides whether it is valid or not. In this case, the technical committee for the championship must have found the reasons given by the three wrestlers as legitimate,” wrestling coach Sujeet Maan, who fought in the 74kg category during his playing days, told TOI.
Interestingly, Rana used to train at the Chhatrasal Stadium akhada in Delhitill last year. He received his formal training there. Sushil also trains at the Chhatrasal. Currently, Rana trains under Arjuna awardee Satyawan Pehelwaan in Rohtak, Haryana. Satyawan is the father-inlaw of Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik.
Former national women’s freestyle coach Kripa Shankar Bishnoi, who was present at the venue, told TOI, “Thiswas expected. Saare pehelwaan Sushil se thar thar kaapte hai (All the wrestlers are scared of Sushil). The finalist (Rana), in fact, came to the mat with his shoulders already drooping. I knew he wasn’t in a mood to fight Sushil and was just there to tell the referee that he was conceding the bout.”
Bishnoi said, “Both wrestlers wanted to fight the repechage rounds for a bronze medal. Therefore, they didn’t want to waste their energy in fighting with Sushil.
Source : timesofindia