CHENNAI: Fresh from winning a gold in Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in South Africa, Sushil Kumar on Friday qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games by winning the trials of men’s freestyle 74kg at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium. But the 34-year-old did not have a peaceful return to the mat. After the walkover controversy at the Senior Nationals, Sushil beat Dinesh Kumar, Parveen Rana and Jitender in the trials. However, things turned ugly when his supporters reportedly clashed with Rana’s. Videos of the two groups coming to blows are circulating all over social media.
According to reports, Sushil initially claimed that Rana tried to bite him during the bout. Rana has also accused Sushil’s supporters of beating him and his brother up. However, a source present at the venue told Express that nothing of that sort has happened.
“The clash was among fans and it happened after their bout. The wrestlers were not involved in any way. The bout, in fact, was clean and the rest all is cooked-up. The fight happened away from where the trials were happening. But Rana’s teeth did brush past Sushil’s face. However that was not intentional and happened while trying to execute a move,” the source revealed.
Sushil beat Rana in the finals of the recently concluded Commonwealth Championships in South Africa and Rana was one of the three wrestlers who gave Sushil a walkover in the Senior Nationals last month. Sushil later tweeted: “It’s very unfortunate and highly condemnable what has happened today at the stadium. I do not support anyone who gets violence in between sportsmanship. My aim is to fight and win for my nation like a true sportsman and not to win against any group or individual.”
Squad: Freestye: Rahul Aware (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Sushil Kumar (74kg), Somveer (86kg), Mausam Khatri (97kg) and Sumit (125kg). Greco-Roman: Rajender (55kg), Gyanender (60kg), Vikram Kurade (63kg), Manish (67kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg), Sunil (87kg), Hardeep (97kg) and Naveen (130kg).