HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014
Sushil Kumar eyes Rio after silver
London, August 13, 2012
First Published: 07:33 IST(13/8/2012)
Last Updated: 07:35 IST(13/8/2012)

Sushil Kumar's wants to complete his Olympic medal collection by winning gold at the 2016 Games in Rio after taking wrestling silver on the final day of action in London on Sunday.

Defeat by Tatushiro Yonemitsu of Japan saw Sushil, the 2010 world champion, add Olympic silver to the bronze he won in Beijing four years ago.

No sooner had he lost than Kumar was eyeing a full set of medals in Brazil, having become the first Indian competitor in an individual sport to be on the podium at successive Olympics.

"Where I practise in India, I had good opponents to practise with," the 29-year-old, from Najafgarh in south-west Delhi, explained.

"This silver medal has been possible because of them. At the next Olympics it's going to be even better," added Kumar, India's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony.

Kumar was well beaten in the final, losing 3-1 as Yonemitsu became the first Japanese man to win a wrestling gold medal for 24 years.

But Kumar's achievement was widely praised by a variety of sports stars back home, with cricket great Sachin Tendulkar leading the way.

"Sushil has done us proud by winning India its second silver medal," tweeted the master batsman. "We are proud of his dedication, commitment and effort. Well done Sushil!!"

In London, India also won a silver through pistol shooter Vijay Kumar as well as four four bronze medals by badminton star Saina Nehwal, rifle shooter Gagan Narang, boxer Mary Kom and Sushil Kumar's fellow wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, in the 60kg freestyle category.

Narang, who opened India's account in London by winning the men's 10-metre air rifle, said: "This is a great show by Indian wrestling. Sushil has inspired a new generation of wrestlers.

"This time he has gone one step ahead and created history."

Haryana government announced they'd be awarding him Rs. 1 crore in recognition of his bronze.

Sushil Kumar explained he'd suffered a stomach upset after his semi-final, having endured a gruelling path to the final that started with an opening contest against 2008 gold medallist Ramazan Sahin of Turkey.

"I had a stomach infection but difficulty and pain are part of the sport, I don't want to make excuses," said Kumar.

His semi-final win over Akzhurek Tanatarov of Kazakhstan was marred by allegations he'd bit his opponent.

But Kumar insisted: "These are ridiculous allegations. These things (blood injuries) happen."

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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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