Disappointed at not winning gold for India at the London Olympics, wrestler Sushil Kumar said he could have easily defeated his Japanese opponent Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, if only he had attacked first. “Had I attacked the Japanese wrestler first, I could have won the gold medal for India in London Olympics,” Sushil told reporters in Bhopal.
The silver medallist was in the city to take part in the Madhya Pradesh government’s Shikhar Khel Award ceremony, to be held later in the evening. He was accorded a grand welcome on his arrival by fans and various organisations in the state capital.
“Wrestling is a game of mind and power in which it is really difficult to read what is going on in the opponent’s mind”, Sushil said. Responding to a question on whether he was under pressure since his health had not been good on the day of final, Sushil said there was no pressure. “The only thing that was going on in my mind was to anyhow do something for the nation on that day,” he said.
He said after the Beijing Olympics, everybody knew that he had a potential to win gold in London and he made a lot of effort to achieve that. On why best wrestlers are coming from Haryana and Delhi only, he said in both the states people send their children to the Akharas (wrestling ring) from childhood and recalled that even he was sent for training under his guru, Satpal Singh, when he was studying in class VII.
He said in the next Riode Janeiro Olympics, he will ensure that “Japanese wrestlers have tears in their eyes.” Referring to boxer Vijender and shooter Abhinav Bindra as world class athletes, Sushil said that particular day (of the event) did not favour them.
Describing sports facilities in Bhopal as world class, he said state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had assured him that he would honour all six Olympic medal winners. Madhya Pradesh has also produced world class wrestler Kripa Shankar Patel and a number of children from the state as well as other parts of the country are learning wrestling, Sushil added.