New Delhi: After a long sabbatical, Olympic heroes Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt will be spearheading the Indian challenge when they fight it out for the first time in their respective new weight categories at the Senior International wrestling tournament in Italy on May 30-31.
The London Games medallists gave the Senior Asian Championship at Kazakhstan a miss last month.
The 12-member India team, including six women and as many men, will be leaving for Sassari, Italy tonight. Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil and London Games bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt will be competing for the first time in their new weight categories at an international tournament.
Sushil won bronze in 2008 Beijing Games and silver in 2012 London Games in the 66kg freestyle category while Yogeshwar bagged bronze in 60kg freestyle in the British capital.
After the world body FILA decided to drop both 60kg and 66kg weight categories in December last year while tweaking 18 other weight divisions, Sushil decided to move up to 74kg category, while Yogeshwar chose 65kg division.
"This is the first time Sushil and Yogeshwar will have their bouts in their new weight categories in an international tournament," coach Satpal told PTI.
Satpal, who is Sushil`s father-in-law and mentor, said the two grapplers` aim in the tournament is to gain experience and assess where they stand.
"Both Sushil and Yogeshear have been working very hard. They are fit. The purpose of taking part in this competition is to assess where they stand and gain some valuable experience before the Commonwealth Games in July," he added.
The tournament will witness grapplers from top nations like Russia, Cuba and Iran compete for podium finishes.
"They will face competition from Grade A wrestlers and that will help them gain a lot of confidence and experience in their new weight categories. It will be important that they face some of the best grapplers from the top nations," Satpal pointed out.
The Indian grapplers will be seen in action in almost all weight categories.