Star wrestler Sushil Kumar has opted out of the India team for the forthcoming Incheon Asian Games, with eyes firmly placed on the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Olympic medallist wants to conserve himself for the Rio Olympics and has also decided to skip the World Championships. Sushil recently made a comeback, after a long layoff, and clinched the gold medal in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
"Sushil said he wanted to focus on the 2016 Rio Olympics and wanted to conserve his energy," WFI Secretary General Raj Singh told to The Hindu.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had made an exception by allowing Glasgow gold medallists Sushil, Yogeshwar Dutt and Amit Kumar to skip the trials. The two-time Olympic medallist, however, informed the federation that he wants to skip the Asiad.
"Sushil has informed us about his unwillingness to compete in either of the two upcoming tournaments as he wants to only focus on the 2016 Olympics," a top WFI official was quoted by PTI.
Sushil had not competed in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games as well, after winning gold in Delhi CWG Games. The Indian grapplers won three bronze medals at the last Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
In the absence of Sushil, London Olympics bronze medallist and Glasgow Games gold winner Yogeshwar will lead the seven-member Indian freestyle wrestling contingent, also featuring Amit and Bajrang Kumar.
Unlike the Commonwealth Games, The Asian Games also features Greco-Roman, and India are sending seven wrestlers in this category. Ravinder Singh, who won bronze four years ago, is part of the team.
The women's team will be announced later, after trials take place in Lucknow. The Asian Games will be held in the South Korean city of Incheon from 19 September to 4 October.
Asian Games squad: Freestyle: Amit Kumar (57 kg), Bajrang (61 kg), Yogeshwar Dutt (65 kg), Praveen Rana (70 kg), Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74 kg), Pawan Kumar (86 kg) and Satywart Kadian (97 kg).
Greco-Roman: Ravinder Singh (59 kg), Sandeep Yadav (66 kg), K.K Yadav (71 kg), Gurpreet Singh (75 kg), Harpreet Singh (80 kg), Manoj Kumar (85 kg) and Hardeep (98 kg).