Sushil Kumar: ‘Working on weakness, will try to do better’

While refusing to divulge details about the areas he was working on, double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar expressed keenness to make amends for his poor show at the Asian Games.

India's Sushil Kumar lost early in the men's freestyle wrestling (74kg) category at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta   -  PTI

Sushil Kumar, who made a shocking early exit from the Asian Games wrestling competition earlier this year, said he is working on his shortcomings and expressed confidence of a better performance in the future.

“I won’t tell you now (what I have learnt from the Asian Games). Our weaknesses were seen by our coaches and gurus. And the weakness which I have — how can I expose them in front of you, you won’t understand. My Guru Satpalji has started working on it and I will try to do better (in the future),” said Sushil here on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old star grappler, winner of bronze and silver medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics respectively, spoke to reporters after the launch of Tata Motors Elite Wrestlers Development Programme.

According to Sushil, if Indian wrestlers get more exposure, they can perform better. “Every wrestler has a different view. Some wrestlers want more international exposure. There are wrestlers who are strong at home, but can’t perform outside. All of them have different views.

“For me, I feel the more I get outside exposures, I can do better. This has started and Tata Motors have joined us. They have committed to provide every facility (to the grapplers). I feel that with Tata Motors joining, our wrestling will grow,” said Sushil.

READ: Wrestlers Sushil, Sakshi promoted to Grade A contracts

He narrated an anecdote that happened at the 2012 London Olympics on how he trained hard and proved a journalist’s observation wrong.

“Wrestlers don’t take pressure. It’s my view that if we stay under pressure, we won’t be able to perform better.

When I was the flag-bearer in 2012 (London Olympics), a journalist told me that the flag-bearer isn’t able to repeat the medal. Mine was the last match, but I kept his words at bay, trained hard in the 15 odd days and I changed my bronze to a silver,” recalled Sushil.

“Our weaknesses were seen by our coaches and gurus. And the weakness which I have — how can I expose them in front of you, you won’t understand. My Guru Satpalji has started working on it and I will try to do better.” — Sushil Kumar

When Sakshi Malik, who was present at the launch event, was reminded by a scribe that Japanese and Chinese women wrestlers were coming up, Sushil interrupted and quipped, “Even India is becoming better.”

Asked what has changed, Sushil shot back saying, “Now medals are coming and that’s a big deal.”

Saying that winning and losing was a part of the game, he also said defeats awaken the players.

“Wins and losses are part of life and unless you lose you don’t learn. According to me after winning, everyone enjoys. After a defeat, eyes get open, that mistakes have happened,” he said.

Sushil also expressed happiness with the WFI’s stated policy on selection trials.

“Yes (I am) happy. A house works on rules. Everyone will have to stay with the system and need to follow it,” he summed up.