Government will save wrestling from Olympic axe, feels Vijay

New Delhi: Wrestling`s axing from Olympics is unfair, feels London Games silver-medallist shooter Vijay Kumar, who is confident that the Indian government will do all it can to save the sport from being completely dropped from the 2020 roster.

"The government will definitely work out a solution. Wrestling has won us medals in the last two Olympics, so I think they will try and save the sport," Kumar said.

"London Games silver-medallist Sushil (Kumar) and all the other guys have been doing so well. It is unfair on them," he said.

The IOC Executive Board, in its meeting earlier this month, decided on the 25 sports it will propose for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in the 125th IOC Session to be held in September in Argentina.

Wrestling was not included in the 25 core sports despite the fact that it goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896 and had always been a core sport.

Talking about his plans, the rapid fire pistol shooter said 2013 will be dedicated to preparation for the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, both multi-sporting events slated to be held next year in Scotland and South Korea, respectively.

"There are four World Cups coming up and they will be used as preparatory grounds for CWG and the Asiad. The focus is on these two events," he said.

In the ongoing selection trials at the Karni Singh Range, Kumar secured his place in the Indian squad for the first two World Cups in Changwon and Fort Benning by winning all the three events, including the national championship.

Kumar will soon be participating in an open invitational shooting tournament in Kuwait where Olympic medallists from across the world will compete.

Speaking about the growing popularity of the sport, the shooter, from the Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh, said, "10 years ago nationals would see 600-700 participation... Now there are 6000-7000 participants. More youngsters are coming into the sport."

And as far as his state was concerned, Kumar said: "I have given 2-3 suggestions to the last two CMs of Himachal Pradesh for hosting 1-2 international events, and also about improving infrastructure."

Kumar, who is doing a Bachelors of Business Administration course from the Manav Rachna University here, said he has been trying for 5-6 years to complete his education.

"As we all know they have a range here and I can easily train. More universities such as this should come up in the country. I think the NRAI is already involved with a few schools in Delhi with shooting ranges, academies," Kumar said.

Told about the upcoming NRAI elections, in the backdrop of the suspensions that the archery and boxing bodies are enduring, Kumar said, "I am sure they will follow the sports code. As an athlete we can`t do anything, we can only put up a performance on the field."