Sushil Kumar will go into the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast as one of the prime contenders for Gold. The two-time Olympic medalist is rearing to prove his mettle in the upcoming edition of the Games and has already asserted that he will be making the most of the premier tournament to present a challenge at the Asian Games and the Senior World Championships. The Haryana wrestler has done it twice in 2010 and 2014 but this time around he will be contesting in a different weight category which will make up for a stern test for him.
The recent controversies surrounding Sushil might have hurt his fan base a bit but there is no denying to the fact that he has always come back stronger. One of the most decorated Olympians in the country, he is the only two time Olympic medalist from India. Sushil Kumar will be India’s best bet for Gold in wrestling for the impactful career that he had so far. Sushil’s first CWG medal came in 2010, when he beat Heinrich Barnes 7-0 in the 66kg freestyle category in Delhi. In Glasgow in 2014, he floored Qamar Abbas in the 74kg final to double his gold tally in Commonwealth Games.
Sushil apart from bagging two Gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in the 66 kg category and in 74 kg category in 2014 has two Olympic and multiple World Championships medals. The 26-year-old is the first one since Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav’s bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics to win an Olympic silver for India in wrestling. Hopes will be centered on him when he takes to mat in Gold Coast aiming for a hat-trick of CWG Gold.
Sushil did not participate in the Rio Olympics in 2016 as his weight category (66 kg) was sidelined from the mega event with India sending Narsingh Yadav as its only athlete in the weight category. The fact that Sushil Kumar has been out of action since past three years in the international arena can be of concern for the wrestler but given the plethora of experience he carries under his belt, Sushil could be a Gold getter if he continues his fine form from the Commonwealth Wrestling championships in Johannesburg in December last year where he won Gold and later bagged the National Championships controversially after getting a number of walkovers. He will have to put aside the controversies and be on top of his game to clinch glory at Glasgow and make it third straight Gold in the coveted tournament.
Name: Sushil Kumar
Category: 74 kg
Past record: Gold at 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 66 kg freestyle
Gold at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 74 kg freestyle