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Bronze and silver won't suffice, I need an Olympic gold, says Sushil Kumar

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Bronze and silver won't suffice, I need an Olympic gold, says Sushil Kumar

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SportsCafe Desk


Sushil Kumar, who has one bronze and one silver Olympic medal to his name, is aiming for gold at the Tokyo Olympics. India’s most successful Olympian was forced to give the Rio Olympics a miss after the WFI picked Narsingh Yadav for the 74 kg category despite Sushil Kumar's plea to participate.

India’s most successful Olympian Sushil Kumar has two medals to his name – a bronze in 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver in 2012 London Games. However, he was forced to give the Olympics in Rio a miss after the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) decided to send World Championship bronze medallist Narsingh Yadav for the 74kg category in wrestling. Albeit raising his voice to earn himself a rightful place in the Olympics, he missed his chance and is waiting for redemption since.

Now, with a third Commonwealth Games gold medal to his belt, Sushil Kumar is determined to emerge victorious with an Olympic gold at the Olympics to be held in Tokyo, two years from now.

“I need an Olympic gold. When I look back at the 2012 London Olympics, I feel I was very close to an Olympic gold. That is constantly playing on my mind. Even the people of this country want to see me winning the gold. They believe I can do it. I will keep trying. I have a bronze and a silver, now it’s time for gold,” Sushil told TOI in an exclusive interview on Saturday.

The 35-year-old has established a name for himself with two Olympic medals and clubbing this with his 20 years of experience, it is safe to assume that the star wrestler can defy all odds to reign at the top again. His immediate focus is on the Asian Games in Jakarta which will commence soon. Sushil and three other wrestlers have been exempted from the traditional method of conducting trials to select teams for the Asian games, much to the disapproval of the competitive wrestling sphere in India. Sushil, though, naturally feels that there is no reason to doubt his experience and enforce trials on him.

“Nobody becomes a champion just like that. I have given trials at the zonal level, attended Railways trials, gave a Commonwealth Games trial, got selected for championships. Now, everyone, including the federation, knows my ability. I just need everyone’s blessing so that I am able to fulfill expectations,” said Sushil.

Sushil Kumar has proved his class by achieving gold at World championships, Commonwealth games, Commonwealth championships, and Asian championships. However, he is yet to take on the Asiad games with full force, having earned only a bronze at Doha in 2006. 

“Preparations are going well (for a gold). Just like how I won the Commonwealth Games (gold) medal, I want to win a (gold) medal at the Asiad. I will train on my own. I have sought special permission from the federation and I am grateful to them. My coach is here, training partners are here (in Goa) too. I have a different system of working. The federation is backing me too,” said Sushil, who shot into limelight when he won the gold medal in the World Cadet Games in 1998.

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