HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014
As good as it gets for Sushil's wife
Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times
London, August 13, 2012
First Published: 01:01 IST(13/8/2012)
Last Updated: 01:04 IST(13/8/2012)
Sushil Kumar celebrates win with his spouse Savy Kumar, after defeating Kazakhstan's Akzhurek Tanatarov in their Men's 66kg Freestyle semifinal match at the Olympic Games in London. PTI/Manvender Vashist

Like any new bride, Savi would have dreamt that her first year of marriage would be one long honeymoon period. Instead, she spent the time in penance and prayers, at times upset and irritated but keeping up the faith.

That single-minded devotion paid off on Sunday when her illustrious husband Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to win two individual Olympic medals.

Savi and the world champion were married last year, but they spent just 45 days together before Sushil, gearing up to train for the London Olympics, took an oath of celibacy, to live the life of a hermit himself, at his training base in the Sport Authority of India’s Sonepat centre. After Sushil overcame a shoulder injury to qualify for the Games in April, he went home for just one day! And that was to sign some documents before returning to his base in the evening. Often, Sushil did not even take calls from Savi.

So, did she feel angry, miserable? “Often he never used to take my calls, and it irritated me the most. At times I used to get upset. After all, we have been married only for a year,” Savi said after all that sacrifice paid dividends on Sunday. However, it helped that Savi is the daughter of Sushil Kumar’s mentor and coach Satpal and thus was more understanding than someone from a different background would have been.

“Being from the sports background, I understood. After all, he was on an Olympic mission,” Savi said. “But after a while, whenever he got time he used to call me,” she added, laughing.

Ringside view
Savi flew down to London on August 10 to cheer the wrestler.

“I am really happy. I have no words to describe the moment,” she said after Sushil made it to the final. “After coming here, I spoke to him just once, and that too for two minutes on Saturday night. I just asked him about his final preparation and he said, he is all set for it. And he did it.” 

Did she feel upset when people suggested that Sushil was distracted by his marriage, after failing to qualify for the Games in his first attempt? “I knew the reports were totally baseless but it did leave a bad taste. He was struggling with shoulder injury and he never disclosed it to the media. But once he got fit he made it to the Games easily. The medal will now silence the detractors.”

How does she feel being married to an Indian sporting icon? “No words to express the feeling. But one thing I can say is that Sushil is a very humble person and the achievement will never go to his head. I really love his humility.”

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Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
England 58 59 57 174
Australia 49 42 46 137
Canada 32 16 34 82
Scotland 19 15 19 53
India 15 30 19 64
New Zealand 14 14 17 45
South Africa 13 10 17 40
Nigeria 11 11 14 36
Kenya 10 10 5 25
Jamaica 10 4 8 22
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