The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) executive board has recommended that wrestling, a sport that has, of late, given India a toehold on the winner’s podium, be axed from the 2020 Games. A final decision is yet to be taken, but a Reuters report suggests that the sport will eventually go.
The impending exit of wrestling, one of the oldest Olympic sports, shouldn’t be seen as a ploy to do India out of medals it would have won in 2020. India’s recent successes on the mat have encouraged hundreds of young people to take up the sport, but it is the US that is the most successful in wrestling, in terms of Olympic medals.
Instead, the exit of wrestling from the Olympics should be seen as an act of fate, although India would do well to lobby the powers-that-be to change their mind. Then, that can’t happen when the country’s Olympic body isn’t even recognized by IOC.