Famous Indian wrestler Satpal Singh, who won a gold medal at the 1982 Asian Games after a bronze in 1974, says Sunday, July 12, 2012, when his protege Sushil Kumar won a silver medal at the London Games, is "the best day of his life".
Under Satpal's coaching, Sushil won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics and bettered the achievement in London.
"I am very happy that he won the silver medal. I am so delighted that I have a student like him, who has made me so proud with his achievements. It was an outstanding performance from Sushil; I couldn't ask for more," he told Rediff.com.
Satpal, who has trained both Yogeshwar and Sushil for the last 18 years, believes that their success in London will provide a boost to wrestling in the country.
Though Sushil failed to win the gold medal, he was not complaining. Instead, he expressed confidence of him triumphing at the next Games in four years' time.
"He tried his best for the gold, but, unfortunately, it didn't work out. I am sure in the next Olympics he will win the gold medal," he said.
Satpal revealed that Sushil had to overcome several hurdles, including a stomach infection and the exhaustion of four bouts in the space of five hours, on the way to the silver medal.
"I am happy with this medal because he is now the only Indian to win two Olympic medals. He deserves this success as he has worked so hard in the last few years to get here. Even today, Sushil didn't let anything affect him. He injured his shoulder in the earlier bouts but continued without complaining," he said.
He thanked Sushil's parents Diwan Singh and Kamla for entrusting their son under care.
"I want to thank his parents to have given birth to such a champion wrestler and allowing me to train him. I want to congratulate the entire country. It is because of their good wishes and prayers that we won two medals in wrestling," he added.
Photograph: Harish Kotian