Sushil nearly give up earlier than Oly glory

Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 17

Two-time Olympics medallist Sushil Kumar has been credited with bringing again the give attention to Indian wrestling, alongside together with his good friend Yogeshwar Dutt, additionally an Olympics medallist.

Sushil has gained virtually every little thing the game presents, barring Olympics and Asian Games gold medals. But as has been the case for a lot of of our athletes, administrative and choice points may properly have ended Sushil’s wrestling profession a lot earlier than it took off. As a 19-year-old, Sushil gained a trial to earn the best to symbolize India on the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. But as an alternative of him, Shokinder Tomar was chosen to symbolize India within the 60kg weight class on the CWG.

The CWG had all of a sudden change into necessary because the then sports activities minister, Uma Bharti, had introduced that the federal government would dole out money prizes — Rs 20 lakh for gold, Rs 15 for silver and Rs 10 lakh for bronze — to the medallists. On discovering out that his identify had been struck off, Sushil and his guru Satpal knocked on the workplace of the sports activities minister and the Wrestling Federation of India, to make a last-ditch effort to reclaim his place on the crew. But he failed.

“I cried when my name was withdrawn. You should remember I was from a lower income family and winning the cash prize would have solved a lot of problems,” Sushil stated throughout a webinar organised by a college.

“When I was replaced, I decided to quit mat wrestling and concentrate more on dangals as a means to earn a livelihood. But a former wrestler, Uday Chand-ji, told me not to lose heart and said: ‘You don’t know, you may get bigger chances to perform than this one’. Thankfully, I listened to him and continued. I always share this story with my near and dear ones,” Sushil added.

‘Offered money in 2010’

The 37-year-old additionally got here clear in regards to the controversial provide he acquired to intentionally lose his 2010 World Championships closing bout towards Russia’s Alan Gogaev in Moscow. “My coaches Yashvir (late Yashvir Singh) and Georgian coach (Vladimir Mestvirishvili) were approached and they dealt with it,” Sushil recalled. “I was never told about it. I came to know much later. Don’t even know how much money was offered!”

Sushil gained the ultimate for his first and solely World Championships medal.

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