Even at 35, one of India’s greatest sportspersons, wrester Sushil Kumar is dreaming of his third medal from the Olympic Games. A medal in 2020 Tokyo will put him on such an orbit that might be out of reach for the future generation of athletes.
This is one of the reasons why the two-time back-to-back Olympics medal winner has decided to skip the forthcoming Asian Wrestling Championships.
Sushil’s focus is on World Wrestling Championship, to be held from the 14th of September this year. Even at this age, the wrestler has been training everyday on a three-session rigorous schedule at his Chhatrasal akhada under the careful observation of his father-in-law/mentor Satpal Singh and Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis. The World Championships will be crucial for the wrestler in this pre-Olympic year.
Satpal revealed to The Bridge while speaking over phone from New Delhi, “His rock-solid concentration even at this age has been possible mainly due to some new yogas which he has recently been practicing under the observation of Ramdev.” The former Dronacharya award winning wrestling coach informed, not long ago, Sushil had gone to Russia to take part in an invitational tournament and his performance was decent there.
After winning the gold medal last year at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games within just 12 seconds, Sushil had a setback at the Jakarta Asian Games, crashing out in the first round only. “In wrestling everything depends on the capacity of your body. Your reflex, fitness level, endurance level-all is dependent on your physical strength and in this perspective along with all other required training and exercises some particular yoga is helping him a lot. Especially it helps in breathing. It is highly needed during the bout. Ramdev comes to Chhatrasal twice or thrice a week, gives him blessing, and also observes the yogas Sushil practice,” explained Satpal.
The wrestler has asked for a personal coach from Russia before the World Championship. His name is Malikov Kamal. But according to Satpal, the wrestler is unlikely to leave Shako.
“Before World Championships, Sushil will travel to Europe, take part in another invitational championship either in Poland, France, or in Belarus. He will meet best wrestlers of the there. That is our purpose. In a bid to strengthen preparation Sushil wants to take part in top championship where he can meet the best wrestlers,” commented Satpal.