Indian wrestlers are capable of winning medals in not just one but in all the four men’s categories they are competing in the upcoming London Olympics, says Beijing Games bronze medallist Sushil Kumar.
“Narsingh (Pancham Yadav) is good, he has been around for some time now. He has competed against some of the best wrestlers and managed to beat them. Amit (Kumar Dahiya) is a bit younger, but then he is very talented and there is always a scope in the 55kg category, so we are hoping the best of the results for our country this time,” Sushil told PTI.
Besides Sushil, another bright medal prospect is the experienced Yogeshwar Dutt, who missed out by a whisker four years ago in Beijing.
“Last time around he missed the medal by just a whisker and to be very honest, more than me it was Yogeshwar, who was expected to pull a medal for India at Beijing,” Sushil said of his friend.
The expectations may be high, especially after the 66kg free—style wrestler’s gold—winning effort in the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in China, but Sushil is not perturbed.
“If we take the pressure, then how will we perform. If we crumble under pressure, we won’t be able to stand our ground while competing. Why to think about the expectations and the past performances,” Sushil said.
As far as his prospect in London is concerned, Sushil is hoping to improve on his performance in Beijing.
“My body is in right shape, the practice has been going on very well, there are no injury concerns either, so I am hopeful of a better finish this time,” the grappler said.
Sushil, will be heading a five—member (including one woman) wrestling team to London, reiterated that Yogeshwar stands a very good chance of winning a medal.
The two share more than a decade—long friendship and both of them have come a long way since winning the World Cadet Championship in 1999 in their respective weight categories.
Yogeshwar, who missed a podium finish in Beijing after he lost a tightly contested quarterfinal bout, said that the incident has inspired him to contest in one more Olympics.
“If I would have won a medal in Beijing probably I wouldn’t have participated in this Olympics,” Yogeshwar said.
Meanwhile, Narsingh informed that he was in the right frame of mind.
“My body is really shaping good at the moment, the rhythm is there and I am even practicing hard, so I don’t see any reason why I can’t do good at the Olympics.
“My recent performance also has been very good, so I am confident of a good show in London,” Narsingh, who was the last of the Indian wrestlers to qualify for the Olympics, said.
The 23—year—old beat Olegk Motsalin of Greece to win gold in the last phase of the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Helsinki, Finland.
Sushil, Yogeshwar, chief coach Vinod Kumar and physio Arvinder Singh along with Geeta Phogat and Babita will leave tonight for USA to attend a three—week long training camp in Colarado Springs.
The other members of the camp including Narsingh, Amit Kumar and coach Yashvir Singh are scheduled to board their flight for US tomorrow.