Two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar is working hard in his quest to win the Olympic gold in his fourth time of trying. His immediate target is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2022 and the 36-year-old is training under 32-year-old Russian Kamal Malikov who was hired in April.
36-year-old Sushil will look to qualify for the Olympics through the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in September. In his quest to glory, 32-year-old Kamal Malikov was hired in April by Tata Motors in consultation with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) after a request was sent by Sushil through the WFI to Malikov.
“Before Sushil hired this coach, I had a discussion with him. I asked him, ‘What can a coach teach a two-time Olympic medallist?’ Sushil said, ‘This is not the time to learn new things. This is the time to get observed. I just need two eyes to observe what I do. Someone’s constant attention will improve my performance,’” says Kripa Shankar Patel to Sportstar, an international wrestler-turned-coach and referee.
“The Russian has a three-in-one role: a coach, a sparring partner, and a fitness trainer,” Patel further shed light on the role of the young Russian coach.
Malikov, who has won medals in prominent events such as the World Cup and the Yasar Dogu, and has worked as a coach in Russia, Poland and Tunisia has helped Sushil progress and become confident of a good show in the future.
“The coach has worked on endurance, speed and counter-attack. Primarily, he has been working on these three aspects. Besides, he is also focusing on the areas to be improved.
“The training methods are different — for speed there is different training, for power there is another. He looks into aspects like where I need speed, where I need stamina and where I need power. Plus, we work on tactics,” Sushil said.