Olympic medal-winner Sushil Kumar eyes elusive gold
India's star wrestler and Olympic silver-medalist Sushil Kumar, keen to excel at Jakarta Asiad after having missed previous two editions due to injury
India's double Olympics medal-winning wrestler Sushil Kumar last participated in the Asian Games 12 years ago, at Doha 2006, where he had to be content with a bronze medal. Thereafter, he won the Olympics bronze at Beijing 2008 and followed it up with a silver at the 2012 London Olympics. He's now keen on getting his hands on the elusive Asian Games gold medal, at the August 18-September 2 event in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"For me, the Asian Games gold and the Olympic gold are still to be won. And you cannot imagine the amount of hard work that I'm putting in to achieve these goals," Sushil said on the sidelines of a promotional event with Tata Motors and the Wrestling Federation of India at a city hotel yesterday. Sushil has been attending a training-cum-competition camp in Georgia and is set to return there today, for a further 10-day training schedule.
"We have had opportunities to fight against good overseas opponents in Georgia, something we lack in India. We do weight training on one day and then engage in bouts with each other, just like a competition. The wrestlers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey etc are very competitive and training and competing with them has been very beneficial," said Sushil, 35, who has won back-to-back gold medals at the last three Commonwealth Games, at Delhi 2014, Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018. The Gold Coast win was special considering he was coming back after a gap of four years following an injury lay-off.
I'm always under pressure, says Sakshi Malik
RIO Olympic bronze medal-winning grappler Sakshi Malik has said that the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia will not be easy for India's female wrestlers. "The Asian Games are always tough because there are some very good women's wrestlers, from countries like Japan and China," Sakshi, 25, told reporters yesterday. Sakshi added that she's always been under pressure to win a medal ever since she won that historic bronze at Rio two years ago.
"There's always pressure on me before any competition. People keep telling me that it doesn't matter if anyone else wins or loses, but I have to win a medal, said Sakshi, who returned empty-handed from last month's Grand Prix in Polland.
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