NEW DELHI: A Commonwealth Games wrestling qualifier in India descended into a mass brawl Friday after supporters of rival wrestlers clashed at the venue in New Delhi.
TV footage showed fans of veteran Sushil Kumar and Parveen Rana, an up-and-coming wrestler, exchanging blows soon after their bout ended.Shocked onlookers tried to break up the fistfights between rival supporters, with some throwing water bottles.
There was no official confirmation of any injuries.Kumar — who won bronze for India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the 2012 London Games — claimed he was bitten by Rana during the bout.
“He bit me, but no problem, it might be his tactic to stop me from performing well,” he told reporters after winning the bout and qualifying for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.Rana said his elder brother was beaten up by Kumar’s supporters, claiming they were unhappy that he took on the celebrated wrestler.
Rana, a 25-year-old junior world championship bronze medallist, is seen as the main competitor to Kumar in the local circuit.Kumar, 34, is seeking a comeback to competitive wrestling after a layoff of almost three years.The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held in April on Australia’s Gold Coast.