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Indian-born wrestler in Australia's Olympic squad
June 04, 2008 19:13 IST
India-born wrestler Sandeep Kumar has created history by becoming the first foreign-origin sportsperson to make the cut for the Australian Olympics-bound contingent.
Sandeep, 25, who migrated to Australia four years ago as he was disillusioned by the state of sports administration in India, will be competing in the 85 kg freestyle division in the quadrennial event in Beijing [Images], according to a report in the Special Broadcasting Service, Australia's public broadcaster.
"I feel very proud and honoured to represent Australia at the Olympics [Images]," said Sandeep.
Frustrated with the system, Sandeep, a one-time Punjab Police constable, landed in Australia on the invitation of Kuldip Bassi, founder and president of the United Wrestling Club (UWC) in Melbourne.
Though Sandeep will be representing Australia at the Beijing Games, sponsorship has been hard to come by and still remains a concern for the young wrestler. He supports his daily expenses by driving a taxi full-time.
"I'm driving full-time but I need more rest for my body...I'm resting six to eight o'clock but not sleeping enough," Sandeep said.
"Wrestling is very tough as you need enough power in your legs, hands, chest and stomach," he added.