By Nuqra Naqvi
New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS): Freestyle wrestling coach Jagmender Singh feels the absence of four dope tainted wrestlers from the squad will dampen India's medal chances at the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.
Arjuna Awardee Rajiv Tomar (120kg), Sumit (74kg), Mausam Khatri (96kg) and woman wrestler Gursharanpreet Kaur (72 kg), who were part of the 21-member squad have been provisionally suspended after they tested positive for a banned substance called methylhexanamine. They also face a ban.
Jagmender feels the four wrestlers were medal hopes and with just a few days left for the Games it is not possible for the replacement wrestlers to win medals.
Khatri has been replaced by Anil Maan, Sumit by Narsingh Yadav, Rajiv Tomar by Praveen and Gursharanpreet by Anshu Tomar.
"The four wrestlers, who have been caught, were in the team because they were the best. Now if you remove the best wrestlers, it obviously affects our medal chances. Now it won't be justified from the reserve wrestlers to bag medals for us. But if we get medals, we should consider ourselves as lucky," Jagmender told IANS.
Jagmender is pinning his hopes on Narsingh Yadav and rates him highly.
"We can expect a medal from Narsingh. He has been performing well," said Singh.
Jagmender also has high expectations from Sushil Kumar, a Beijing Olympics bronze medal winner.
"Sushil's bronze has boosted Indian wrestling. The national camp at Sonepat is going well and wrestlers are training hard. The sports ministry and federation have provided us with all the facilities," he added.
Jagmender also said that it was time to build a positive image of the Games.
"It's a matter of great pride that India is hosting such a big event after the 1982 Asian Games. We should be happy and excited," said Jagmender.