TNI Bureau: Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar created history on Sunday becoming India’s best-ever individual Olympian, who was the last hope for the country to get Gold in the London Olympics by entering the finals of the 66kg freestyle class. He lost in the final and settled for a silver medal in the end.
The wrestler had earlier made India proud after he won the gold medal in the 66 kg freestyle competition at the FILA 2010 World Wrestling Championships and a bronze medal in the Men’s 66kg Freestyle Wrestling event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He was the second to win a medal for India in Olympic wrestling after K D Jadhav, who had won bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games. Sushil received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – India’s highest honour for sportspersons – in July 2009 for his achievement at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Born on May 26, 1983, in a Jat family, Kumar was inspired to take up wrestling by his cousin Sandeep and his father Diwan Singh, who was himself a pehlwan (wrestler).
He took the training at the akhada (wrestling school) in the Chhatrasal Stadium from the age of 14. His first success came at the World Cadet Games in 1998 where he won the gold medal in his weight category. His success continued with a gold in the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship in 2000.
Since then, there was no looking back and he won the bronze medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships in 2003 in 60 kg Men’s Freestyle Wrestling in New Delhi moving out of the junior competition. In the same year, he won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in London.
For the bronze medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kumar beat Spiridonov of Kazakhstan with scores of 2-1, 0-1, 2-0 in the three rounds in the 66 kg Freestyle Wrestling.
He created history when he became the first Indian to win a gold medal at FILA 2010 World Wrestling Championships held in Moscow on 12 September 2010. He beat Alan Gogaev of Russia 3-1 in the finals for the gold in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category.
Kumar won gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi on 10 October 2010. He beat Heinrich Barnes of South Africa 7-0 in the finals in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category.
Sushil Kumar’s Medal Record (Men’s Freestyle Wrestling)
|2008 Beijing Olympic Games||Bronze||66 kg|
|2012 London Olympics||Silver||66 kg|
|World Championships 2010 Moscow||Gold||66 kg|
|Commonwealth Championship 2003 London||Gold||60 kg|
|Commonwealth Championship 2005 Cape Town||Gold||66 kg|
|Commonwealth Championship 2007 London||Gold||66 kg|
|Commonwealth Championship 2009 Jalander||Gold||66 kg|
|Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi||Gold||66 kg|
|Asian Championships 2010 New Delhi||Gold||66 kg|
|Asian Championships 2007 Kyrgyzstan||Silver|
|Asian Championships 2003 New Delhi||Bronze||60 kg|
|Asian Championships 2008 Jeju Island||Bronze||66 kg|