Sushil Kumar has rubbished critics questioning the merit of his victory at the National Wrestling Championship, stating that he is helpless if his opponents hand him walkovers. Sushil fought for less than three minutes in the initial rounds before three walkovers won him the gold in the tournament.
India’s two-time Olympic gold medallist was back into action after three years and hardly had to sweat for a gold medal in the National Wrestling Championship. The 34-year-old, who was participating in the 74-kg category, needed less than a minute to win his first bout against Mizoram’s Lalmalsawma while he took a minute and 45 seconds to see off Mukul Mishra of Jharkhand in the second round.
Though his wins looked convincing, it was clear that the wrestler is still rusty with his movements. However, to everyone’s shock, those 2 minutes and 33 seconds were enough for him to be crowned the new national champion as he got walkovers in the quarter-final, semi-final, and the final.
It has led many to question the merit of his controversial victory, particularly after the employer of the Railways Sports Promotion Board qualified for the Nationals without a single bout, which saw one of his opponents not even turning up for the trials while the others giving him a walkover without fighting.
"If my opponents are not ready to fight, what could I have possibly done in such circumstances. Every sports person respect their seniors but when two wrestlers are fighting it out on a mat, they are equals. But this is a completely different matter that a grappler does not want to fight it out against the opposition,” Sushil told journalists, reported TOI.
Sushil Kumar is back on the mat to answer his critics who had written him off after his shoulder injury and had forced him to sit out of the Rio Olympics by denying him a trial.
"Controversy has always followed me wherever I have gone,” said Kumar.