Sandeep Yadav now eyes Incheon, Rio glory
World Championships bronze-winning grappler keen to win medals at next year's Asian Games in Korea and 2016 Olympics
There was a time right before the recent Budapest World Championships when Sandeep Tulsi Yadav wanted to quit wrestling forever, had it not been for coach Jagmal Singh.
“I had gotten disheartened and wanted to quit. But he (Jagmal) convinced me to try my luck for one last time at the Budapest World Championships. And that worked,” said the grappler at the Sports Authority of India (Kandivli) on his return to the city yesterday.
However, there are no such doubts in the 25-year-old’s mind anymore after he clinched the bronze medal in the 66kg Greco-Roman category in Hungary, thereby becoming the only Indian GR wrestler to do so at the World Championships.
“Now, I want to focus on the 2014 Asian Games and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016,” the Mumbai lad said. The wrestler, who was given a cash reward of Rs three lakh by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) yesterday, heaped praise on the federation.
“It’s good that the federation sent us to Budapest 15 days before the tournament so that we could practice with wrestlers from other countries. That exposure helped me, Amit (Kumar Dahiya) and Bajrang,” he said.
Freestyle wrestlers Amit and Bajrang ended up winning silver and bronze in the 55 kg and 60 kg respectively. Meanwhile, Sandeep’s elder brother, Sanjay said the medal was unexpected but well deserved. “I didn’t think Sandeep would win a medal here, but I’m overjoyed for him and our country,” he said.