Problems ‘all in the past’, says determined Sushil

The wrestler is keen to block out the negativity around and “give my 100 percent” at the Asian Games.

Sushil Kumar doesn’t yet possess any Asian Games gold medal.   -  PTI

He remains one of the biggest Indian sporting icon of all times but Sushil Kumar doesn’t exactly enjoy the privileges of superstardom like many others. If anything, his achievements have only added to the pressure of loftier standards than others.

The fact that India’s only individual double-medallist at the Olympics still doesn’t have the elusive Asian Games gold in his otherwise overflowing cabinet has only made him more determined to block out the negativity around and concentrate on the target.

“There have always been people ready to write me off from the start of my career but I am lucky to have positive people around me. I believe you learn more from losing than from winning. For a sportsperson, losing is as important as winning. A true athlete is one who does not get upset with losses but doesn’t let success affect him either,” Sushil told Sportstar here on Friday.

MORE FROM ASIAN GAMES

Sushil would be participating in the continental event after a gap of 12 years, having missed the 2010 edition due to injury and skipping the 2014 edition to concentrate on the Rio Olympics. That, however, did not happen and the entire controversy around him and Narsingh Yadav in 2016 was just the beginning of a two-year long struggle on both personal and professional fronts.

‘This is life’

“I have never thought of any time as bad; this is life. There will be problems and you have to face them strongly. My servant, who was like a family member for more than 15 years, died the morning of my kids’ birthday in January this year. The Rio controversy happened, then there was the fracas with Praveen Rana during trials and the walkovers by other wrestlers in the national championships. But it’s all in the past now; I will give my 100 percent and all I want is people’s wishes,” Sushil said.

The Indian contingent pays its homage to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Photo: Uthra Ganesan

 

When he lost his opening bout in Georgia at the Tbilisi Grand Prix last month — his first in more than four years — the naysayers were back in force, questioning the WFI’s decision to exempt him from Asiad trials and writing his epitaph, yet again. The fact that he would be in action on the very first day of full competition on Sunday doesn’t make it easier. But none of it bothers the wrestler any more.

‘No pressure’

“The second visit to Georgia was mainly for tactics and working out strategies (with coach Vladimir Merstervishvili). But there is no pressure of anything. Now I only want to enjoy sports, when you enjoy what you do you last much longer,” he said.

And the future? “Till the body lasts. I never decide anything on the basis of results in a competition, it is all about fitness. If I am fit, I will continue,” he signed off.

                                     Indian contingent pays condolences to Vajpayee

A day after India lost one of its most-loved Prime Ministers, the Indian contingent here paid its respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and held a small condolence meet at its Athletes Village.

The Indian chef-de-mission Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh led the prayers accompanied by his deputies R. K. Sacheti and D. K. Singh, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta and treasurer Anandeshwar Pandey. The handball team, wrestlers, archers and boxers and their respective officials were among those present on the occasion.

“Atal ji played a huge role in the development of our country. Nuclear power, which everyone appreciates today, was his contribution despite criticism and pressure from the entire world. I think it is our responsibility to give him our respects and the best way to do that would be by winning as many medals as we can. This is what the CDM also said in his address and we will try for that only. We wish his blessings are always with us,” Sushil said after the meet.