The COVID-19 pandemic has turned out to be a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Narsingh Yadav as the wrestler has got another chance to represent India in the Olympics.
Had the Olympics taken place this year, the 31-year-old would have had to wait for another four years to compete. However, with the pandemic forcing the Tokyo Games to postpone for a year and his dope ban also ending in July, the Mumbai grappler is all set to live the dream yet again.
Narsingh has already been named for the national camp, scheduled to begin from September 1 in Sonepat – the same place where, before Rio Olympics, he alleged that his dope story was planned. Later, the claims were found false and he was handed a four-year ban for flunking the dope test.
The wrestler will be seen in action again and his ring rival and two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar will have to train real hard as the two may lock horns again for the 74kg category in Olympic qualifiers’ trials.
Speaking to IANS, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said Narsingh is allowed to resume training after getting clearance from the committee.
“He requested the committee and promised to be more careful in the future, so we allowed him to join the camp. His ban also finished in July, so he has all the rights to train for the Olympics as well,” Tomar said.
Asked if there are chances of Sushil facing Narsingh again, Tomar said, “We (India) are yet to qualify in 74kg weight category. So there will be trials in this category before Olympic qualifiers. Sushil, Narsingh and others will have to go through that.”
After a long wait, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had recently announced the commencement of the wrestling national camp for the elite men’s and women’s wrestlers in Sonepat and Lucknow, respectively, from September 1 to 30.
The camp will be both for those who have already qualified for the rescheduled 2021 Tokyo Olympics and for the probables of making the cut at the Olympic qualifiers next year.