New Delhi: Wrestler Sushil Kumar on Wednesday opined that athletes will suffer if India boycotts Commonwealth Games (CWG).
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra wrote a letter to Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, urging him to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in the UK due to the exclusion of shooting. "I think other athletes will suffer, sports will suffer," Sushil told ANI.
The Olympic silver-medallist asserted that India can improve their medal tally at CWG by performing well in other sports. He also urged the Sports Ministry and India Olympic Association (IOA) to reconsider the proposal of boycotting CWG.
"It's true we win medals in shooting in Commonwealth Games and this (excluding shooting) will lower our position in the medal tally. But we're also performing well in other sports. We can compensate for medals by focusing on other sports. I urge Sports Ministry and IOA to review this," he added.
Sushil said that in 2006 CWG held in Melbourne, Australia, wrestling was not the part of the event and still we played there. "In 2006 Commonwealth Games, wrestling was not there and still India participated in the games," Sushil said.
When questioned about his Olympic bid, he replied nothing is "guaranteed" and that he enjoys wrestling which is why he is still playing.
"Nothing is guaranteed and I enjoy wrestling that is why I'm playing for so long. Now I'm training with my new Russian coach and with him, I believe I'm doing great. I'm ready for the Olympic Qualification trials and working hard with my coaches for upcoming games," Kumar said.
"In 1998 I won a gold medal in the Cadet but I have been wrestling since 1992-93. We are very close to winning gold in the Olympics and we are practicing for it," he added.
He also underlined that Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Sports Authority of India (SAI) are helping athletes in every possible way. "Practice for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is going great under the leadership of Union Youth and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and SAI.
Every athlete is practicing hard to win an Olympic medal for the country. Everything you want for as an athlete you get it on time and Rijiju himself is monitoring the athletes' requirement," Sushil concluded.
Earlier, Indian shooter Heena Sidhu said that boycott is a strong word to use but if we do not stand for shooting today, it could happen to any other sports as well.
Her remarks came after Indian Olympic Association IOA President Narinder Batra wrote a letter to Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, urging him to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in the UK due to the exclusion of shooting.
In 2010 CWG, India had finished second in overall medals tally and total medals won in the shooting were 30. In 2018, India had finished third with 16 medals in shooting.