Tokyo Olympics: Indian referee to officiate wrestling bouts

Tokyo Olympics: Ashok Kumar, an international wrestling referee, is the lone Indian nominated to officiate bouts during the Tokyo Olympic Games in July-August.

The United World Wrestling (UWW), the governing body of the sport, has nominated Kumar.

“I’m the only Indian referee selected by the UWW. I will be officiating bouts during the Olympics. There was a selection process to select candidates for the Olympics and I successfully cleared those norms,” Kumar told IANS.

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Tokyo Olympics: Kumar, 50, said that the selection process for referees started at the 2019 Senior World Wrestling Championship in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, followed by the Asian Olympics Qualifiers held last month in Almaty.

“The final selection was done during recently concluded World Olympic Qualifiers in Sofia, Bulgaria. I was official in all three main competitions,” he said.

Kumar, an employee of the Indian Air Force, was also nominated to officiate bouts during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Tokyo Olympics: Kumar got his international referee licence in 2005. Since then he has officiated in more than 100 international tournaments, including the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in the same year. He is also coach of the Indian Air Force wrestling team.

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