December 10, 2022

With the Indian flag draped over his shoulders, Sushil Kumar has given us a number of proud moments at a few of the largest sporting arenas. However it was not a pleasing sight to see probably the most embellished Indian athletes, along with his face lined by a towel, escorted out of a police station final Sunday, which by the way occurred to be the World Wrestling Day. Sushil Kumar’s fall from grace was telling, disheartening for thousands and thousands who had idolised him.

The boy from Najafgarh had modified the panorama of wrestling in India. Younger wrestlers dared to dream massive. They’d somebody whom they might relate to displaying the way in which ahead. The Chhatrasal Stadium turned the mecca of Indian wrestling with a whole bunch of younger girls and boys with massive goals wanting as much as Sushil.

Sushil Kumar is a two time Olympic medallist in wrestling. (Reuters Picture)

Sushil isn’t typically spoken about in the identical breath as some greats from different sports activities however his impression on Indian wrestling is as massive because it might get. As many as 3 wrestlers from the Chhatrasal can be collaborating within the Tokyo Video games this 12 months. From 3 wrestlers in 2008, India will subject its largest wrestling contingent – 8 — on the upcoming Video games.

The much-loved Pahlawan

On the peak of his profession, Sushil made positive success didn’t get to his head. At the very least it appeared in order Sushil all the time made positive he had time for followers who thronged stadiums to catch a glimpse of him. Sushil was there to not simply assist fellow wrestlers however inspired younger athletes from different wrestlers. He was, most of the time, obtainable on name for scribes and picked and selected his phrases throughout interactions with the media. The pehalwanji loved famous person standing and traders and advertisers who have been related to the assist wanted him to be their face.

Sushil had come from a household that struggled economically. His father, who was a driver, was a wrestler himself and he was a supply of inspiration for Sushil, who took to the mat proper from his early days. Sushil’s household might afford to assist solely certainly one of their youngsters pursuing wrestling and his cousin had to surrender his goals to assist Sushil’s. At 14, Sushil joined the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi. In only a 12 months, he gained a gold medal on the World Cadet Video games, displaying indicators that he was set for higher issues.

When Sushil fought towards odds for Olympic glory

Sushil’s Olympic journey didn’t start on a great word because the then 21-year-old misplaced within the first spherical of the 60kg occasion on the Athens Video games. However Sushil grew from energy to energy within the following years. He informed the world to maintain watching out for him by successful medals on the continental degree on a constant foundation. He had warmed as much as the Beijing Video games in 2008 with the Asian Video games bronze in 2006 and the Asian Championships silver in 2007.

On the Beijing Video games, Sushil moved as much as the 66kg class however he suffered an opening-round defeat. However by way of repechage, Sushil managed to provide himself a shot on the bronze medal. Not many can overlook his bronze medal bout towards Kazakhstan’s Leonid Spiridonov. Within the dying moments of the bout, Sushil got here up with the unforgettable scissors transfer — a daring try, given he had did not execute it in the identical bout.

Historical past was created. Sushil ended India’s 56-year-long watch for a wrestling medal on the Video games as he had develop into the primary wrestler to win a medal on the largest stage since KD Jadhav in 1952.

It didn’t cease there. He gained the world wrestling championships in 2010, rallying towards an unruly native crowd in Russia to beat the native favorite within the gold medal match. In the identical 12 months, he additionally gained the Commonwealth Video games gold in entrance of the native followers, ascertaining his stardom on the mat.

Nonetheless, a shoulder harm had threatened his 2012 London Olympics participation. However Sushil didn’t surrender and rallied towards odds to qualify for the Olympics whereby he gained silver to develop into the primary Indian athlete to win two particular person medals on the Video games.

He not simply realised his coach and mentor Satpal Singh’s goals however grew in stature and was equally revered within the Indian wrestling neighborhood.

Tip of the iceberg: The homicide case

As soon as the torchbearer of Indian wrestling, Sushil is now being seen as somebody who has damage the popularity of the game in India. Whereas fairly just a few on the surface have been shocked when the information of Sushil’s alleged involvement in a homicide, individuals who had carefully adopted his life within the current previous have mentioned they noticed it coming.

After having been on the run for over a fortnight, Sushil was arrested by Delhi Police from the nationwide capital on Could 23. He has been accused of homicide after a 23-year-old wrestler, who skilled on the Chhatraasal Stadium died in a brawl on Could 4.

Sagar was a type of younger wrestlers who landed up at Chhatrasal 8 years in the past with goals of emulating his guru, based on his father. “The one who murdered my son doesn’t should be referred to as a guru,” the deceased wrestler’s mom mentioned earlier this month.

Sushil’s tryst with controversies

Sushil’s fall from grace has been telling. The demise of Sagar Rana and the alleged involvement of Sushil within the homicide case has delivered to the fore the ugly wrestler-criminal nexus in Delhi’s underworld. Delhi Police had mentioned they have been investigating ties between the wrestler and needed criminals. India Immediately reported on Wednesday that Sushsil’s life is in peril on the jail attributable to his alleged hyperlinks with criminals.

This isn’t the primary time Sushil has been within the information for the unsuitable causes. It began to floor in 2016 when Sushil did not seal a berth for the Rio Olympics. Wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who was chosen to characterize India on the Video games in 2016. had accused Sushil and his associates of spiking his meals after he was banned for doping after reaching the Brazilian capital for the quadrennial spectacle.

Sushil and Narsingh had competed for the Rio Olympics berth however the London Olympics silver medalist was ignored. Narsingh’s claims weren’t proved however the episode positively damage Sushil’s popularity.

Fairly just a few wrestlers, who had a great rapport with the embellished wrestler, began leaving the Chhatrasal, sad with the way in which Sushil, backed by his father-in-law Satpal, ran the long-lasting stadium. Sushil’s appointment as Further Director of the stadium after his father-in-law’s retirement in 2016 got here below the scanner as he was nonetheless actively representing India on the highest degree. It emerged that Satpal interfered in issues even after his retirement and wrestlers who went towards Sushil have been requested to go away the stadium.

Sushil Kumar is on a 6-day remand. (PTI Picture)

Take the 2018 episode involving Parveen Rana, who took to the mat and challenged Sushil in a trial for a Commonwealth Video games berth. Sushil gained the bouts and sealed the ticket to Gold Coast however Rana had accused Sushi’s supporters of beating him up after the trials “for daring to take the ring” towards him.

Sushil, the administrator, had additionally landed in bother throughout his stint because the President of College Video games Federation of India – a job he took over from his father-in-law Satpal in 2016. The Sports activities Ministry had revoked official recognition, citing mismanagement and corruption.

Sushil is harmless till confirmed responsible. The police will examine his alleged function within the homicide. However Sushil’s legacy will definitely not be solely about his achievements on the mat anymore.

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