The Velammal Educational Group on Monday felicitated wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt — silver and bronze medallists in the 2012 London Olympics respectively — at Velammal MHSS (Mogappair) here, with 10 lakh and five lakh each.
The two were accorded with a warm reception, arriving at the School premises on a chariot to rapturous applause from the children. “Vanakkam Velammal,” began Sushil in his address. “I am thrilled to have come here again (he came to Velammal after winning a bronze in the Beijing Games). The Haryana Government gave me Rs.1.5 crore and an Audi car. This welcome is something equal to that,” he added.
Sushil said the success he has achieved has been due to hard work and meticulous planning. “Whatever field you are in, work hard and give your best.” Yogeshwar said. “Face challenges with determination. Don’t be afraid to face problems,” he said.
On their medal chances at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, they said they still have time to do better. Sushil predicted that Indian wrestlers will win around 4-5 medals in the next Olympics.
Sushil and Yogeshwar said after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, facilities and infrastructure for wrestling have improved a lot. They said the Governments’ approach — Central and State — to Olympic sports has changed. “The Sports Ministry and the Indian Wrestling Federation gave us a lot of exposure for the London Games. In fact, we were sent to USA (25 days) and Belarus (11). It helped us perform well in London,” said Sushil.
Yashvir Singh, coach of Sushil and Yogeshwar, praised both the wrestlers for their discipline and determination. “Sushil and Yogeshwar came to me when they were 11 and 12 years old. They had the courage and the dedication to reach the top. They fixed their targets and worked towards it,” said Yashvir, who received Rs.5 lakh.
Earlier, M.V.M. Velmohan, Correspondent Velammal MHSS, who gave the welcome speech, termed it as a “great day.”