Wrestlers aiming for atleast 5 medals at Rio: Sushil
Buoyed by India's best-ever performance at the World Championships, Olympic heroes Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt today vowed to settle for nothing less than atleast five medals in the next edition at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
India finished with three medals at the recently concluded World Championship at Budapest, Hungary.
"We are targeting at least 4-5 medals at the Rio Olympics. We have started preparing ourselves in that direction and we will settle for nothing less than a gold medal. The World Championship medals have changed the future of the Indian wrestling for the better. This will start a new culture of wrestling in the country," Sushil, India's most successful individual Olympian said in a confident note.
Image: Sushil Kumar
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
'We all are targeting gold medals'
Yogeshwar said the recent success of Indian grapplers is a result of a change in their mentality and they are now hungry for success and not just content participating in big events.
"Amit (Dahiya), Bajrang and Sandeep (Tulsi Yadav) have put the Indian wrestling on a different track. With the next line of wrestlers ready and raring to go, we are confident that India will bring home 4-5 medals from the Rio Games. We all are targeting gold medals as the recent success at World Championship has spurred us on," he said.
Both the wrestlers, who have recovered from their respective injuries, said the medals won by them in Olympics have played a major role in this promising change.
"The emerging wrestlers took inspiration from our medals and results are in front of you. This augurs well for the Indian wrestling. They have the confidence to win major tournaments and it was evident in world championship," said Yogeshwar.
"I hope the young crop of wrestlers takes forward the legacy after me and Sushil. We did not have anybody to look upto but now we are there for the young wrestlers to guide them and pass on our oodles of experience."
Image: Yogeshwar Dutt
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Fit and raring
Talking about Amit Dahiya and Bajrang, who even dedicated his World Championships bronze to his idol Yogeshwar, the wrestler from Bhainswal Kalan village, Sonepat said, "Both these grapplers are just 19 years old and I can say our sport will be in able hands for years to come. Amit's posture while standing and attacking style are his plus point while
Bajrang's leg defence and endurance level is very high."
Both the wrestlers are gearing up for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup and would be participating in selective tournaments this year to remain injury-free.
"I will be participating in two-three tournaments this year to prapare well for the three events. There will be slight shuffle in the weight categories of all the wrestlers after the world body's decision to reduce the number of existing seven weights to six. So, I am also waiting for the development to happen," said Yogeshwar.
"I am fit and fine and raring to go. I am ready to begin afresh," said Sushil.
Photographs: Getty Images