After his first-round exit from the Wrestling World Championships, Sushil Kumar has said that he was at the tournament just to announce his comeback to the world. Sushil has also mentioned that he lacks stamina and defence for the sport at the moment and coach Kamal Malikov is working on these.
Sushil Kumar didn’t get a lot of game-time on the mat as he returned to the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan. The two-time Olympic medallist lost the 74kg freestyle opening bout 9-11 against Azerbaijan’s Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev and bowed out of the tournament. However, the star Indian wrestler has revealed that the whole idea behind his participation in the Championships was to announce his return to the mat.
“I lost but I felt good on the mat. I was faster than Jakarta. I was at this Championship just to announce to the world that I am getting back. And even the foreign coaches around said, ‘you look like getting back’,” Sushil told PTI in an interview.
Sushil is currently taking coaching from Russian coach Kamal Malikov and his initial aim was to make it to the Tokyo Olympics through the global event. Now, he has mentioned that he was lacking stamina and defence in his game and the Russian coach is working on that.
“I lack in stamina and defense as of now. My coach Malikov had said he wants 90 day-training to put me back in shape. It’s about 50 days as of now. I had put on weight and I had slowed down too. But today, I have lost weight, I have become faster. The body is in competition mode. My coach says I am better from what I was two years ago,” the 36-year-old grappler mentioned.
“I thought, I should play only bigger tournaments but the coach (Malikov) said no, I have to be in competition every month or in every 45 days to have enough mat-time. Honestly, I did not feel like competing but people who are close to me said, even If I have 10-20 per cent of wrestling left in me, I should not quit. So I decided to train and qualify for the Olympics. I will try to qualify from the Asian event next year.”