New Delhi: A year ago on this day, Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to win two individual medals in Olympics.
After bagging a bronze medal in Beijing back in 2008, the Delhi-based grappler added another feather to his cap by winning silver at the Excel Sports Arena in London.
Presently, there are doubts over whether Sushil will take part in the World Wrestling Championship in Budapest next month. But one thing is pretty certain.
He would be missing the trials for the World Championship, beginning at Sonepat from Tuesday. For his part, though, Sushil is hopeful of making it to the big event.
“I have an injury. But if I recover fully, I will certainly try to be there in September,” he said.
Sushil still savours the occasion when he made the country proud last year in the Olympics. “I remember the day well… I lost to the Japanese grappler (Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu) in the final and ended with silver.
“We are holding a small, private party to celebrate the medal. Some of my close friends, grapplers and family members would be present.”
Sushil had clinched gold at the Moscow edition of World Championship in 2010.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) sources, however, said that Sushil is likely to skip the Championships because of a nagging shoulder injury.
They remain sceptical about Sushil’s chances of going to the World meet. “Since the London Olympics, he has not participated in any international tournament. Even if he recovers from this injury, we don’t think he will be in shape for such a major event.
“However, a final decision on him could be taken after the preparatory camp in Hungary,” said a WFI official.
Earlier in the year, the champion grappler had missed the Asian championship in Delhi and also did not take part in the Dave Schultz memorial international tournament in Colorado Springs.
Though the final team will be selected only after the trials, Sushil’s place is likely to be taken by Amit Dhankar, who won a gold medal in the last Asian Championship. On Monday, the Haryana Police employee arrived in India after winning gold in the World Police Games at Belfast.
Yogeshwar Dutt, who won bronze in London, has also opted out of the World Championship because of a knee injury. Bajrang, a bronze winner in the Asian meet, is a strong contender to take his place.
“The injury to my right-knee has aggravated once again. The MCL (medial collateral ligament) tear requires a surgery. I will be flying off to South Africa to get it operated later this month,” the 30-year-old Yogeshwar said.
“All was going well. I was hoping for a return in that tournament. Around 15 days back that the injury flared up again and I had to consult my doctors.
“They suggested me to go for a surgery again,” said the 60 kg star.