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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

India's Sushil Kumar won bronze in Olympics wrestling



For the first few seconds after he had been adjudged the winner, wrestler Sushil Kumar, was dazed. Thoroughly exhausted after three nerve-wracking bouts in less than 75 minutes, he looked around, first for the coach and then for a bottle of water. And then quickly he was engulfed by his coach, P P Sondhi and then former Asian Games gold medallist Kartar Singh, who is accompanying the team as a manager. Minutes later, the 25-year-old Sushil realising the enormity of his achievement began looking around and found his mentor Satpal Singh and ran towards him.

“I owe my career to Satpal Singhji, who is my guru and taught me all I know. I dedicate this medal to him,” he said minutes after winning the bronze. Cash awards to the tune of Rs16.5m have flowed in for Sushil Kumar. After Abhinav Bindra shot India’s maiden Olympic gold medal last week, Delhi wrestler Sushil added a second medal to India’s kitty by winning the bronze in the men’s freestyle (66kg) event at the Beijing Games yesterday.

It was first the turn of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit to announce a cash award of Rs5m and she was followed by Union Sports Minister M S Gill who announced Rs 2m for the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) employee. “It is a great achievement by Sushil. He is the new icon for Delhi and I will give him a cash award of Rs5m. His coach Satpal will also get promotion,” Dixit told a TV channel.

Ram Vilas Paswan, minister of chemicals, fertilizers and steel, came up with Rs1.5m award for Sushil. Not to be left behind, Railways minister Lalu Prasad announced Rs5.5m and the Haryana Government Rs2.5m. Paswan added: “Two years back, we decided to promote two sportspersons and Sushil was one of them. We have always supported him and I am happy that he has done the country proud. We will have a grand reception for him. I have also asked the SAIL Chairman to give him a promotion.”

Sushil’s bronze comes after 56-years when wrestler Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav gave India its first ever individual Olympic medal. Jadhaav also won the bronze in the Freestyle Bantamweight class in the 1952 Helsinki Games. This is the first time after 1952 that India have won two medals in a particular edition of the Olympics.

Courtesy : www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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