Fought at World Championships to announce to the world I am getting back: Sushil Kumar

first_imgTwo-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar has said he is on a 90-day training programme to get back to his best and win a Tokyo Olympic quota for India.Sushil Kumar suffered an early exit at the recently-concluded Wrestling World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. It was also his first world meet appearance in 7 years and Sushil believes he competed in Nur-Sultan to let the world know he is back.Despite stressing he felt “good and faster” on the mat, Sushil Kumar conceded he needs to put in a lot of work if he has to compete at the highest level. Sushil struggled at last year’s Asian Games, raising questions if he was good enough to keep competing despite the passing years.However, Sushil Kumar believes his love for wrestling is pushing him to bounce back and win medals for the country once again.”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.”I lack in stamina and defence 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,” he said.advertisementMeanwhile, Sushil Kumar said his coach Malikov has urged him to fight more often even as he shied away from competing regularly. Notably, Sushil has competed only in 7 tournaments over the last 7 years.”I thought, I should play only bigger tournaments but the coach (Malikov) said no, I have to be in competition every month or every 45 days to have enough mat-time,” he explained.But why was he not competing often all these years?”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,” he said.Talking about Malikov, Sushil said, he is younger than him and that’s why he doubles up as his sparring partner as well.”He is technically, a very sound coach. Every aspect was looked into before finalising the contract with him. He is respected in Russia,” he said.Doing everything but not going the whole hog: Sushil KumarSushil said while the years of experience behind him make him technically sound, his training methods have changed as he is not young anymore.”As you age, you have to change. I can’t put myself to rigours after a certain age. You can’t break your body. I still love wrestling, so still here,” he said.”I am doing everything but not going the whole hog. I have to do everything. I have to run, I have to be on the mat, in the gym, do some power training. The coach makes my schedule. And when it’s competition, it’s different training,” he said.With two Olympic medals and one world title, Sushil has nothing to prove then why is he pushing himself for another Olympics?”I still love wrestling. I have the support of my family and my Guru Mahabali Satpal ji. He says, ‘even if you have a 10 per cent of wrestling left in you, you must not leave the mat’.”If I lose, I don’t lose heart: SushilBut is it easy to swallow defeats since his reputation is at stake too?”In 2009 I was close to World Championship title, in 2003 I missed it by a very close margin. The world champions lose and the Olympic champions also lose,” he pointed out.”I lost in Belarus and at the World Championship but I am analysing. I have learnt to digest defeats. If I win I don’t become arrogant and If I lose, I don’t lose heart.”Sushil returned to the World Championships after eight years and found that a lot has changed in the Indian wrestling.”There are a lot of people helping our boys. It was not the case before.Tata Motors, the WFI, JSW, OGQ, they all are doing their bit.”If you will compare the India team and the USA team, you notice we too have a very good support staff. We have personal foreign coaches attached with the wrestlers.advertisement”There are physios, doctors travelling with the team all the time. This is a big change in last 8 years and it only good for the sport,” he said.Also Read | Promise I won’t disappoint the country in 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Deepak PuniaAlso Read | World Championships: Rahul Aware bags bronze as India finish with best-ever medal haulAlso See:last_img

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