From roommates to sparring partners, Tulsi Yadav on same boat as Narsingh
Ever since that day, while Narsingh’s stock has soared, Sandeep has been content with being in the background.other sports Updated: Jul 27, 2016 15:27 IST
No sooner had Narsingh Yadav won the bronze medal at the Wrestling World Championships at Las Vegas last year, thereby earning the country a Rio Olympics quota in the 74kg category, Mumbai journalists’ phones started ringing.
The caller was none other than Sandeep Tulsi Yadav, who has been Narsingh’s roommate at Sports Authority of India’s sprawling Kandivali campus for over a decade. The 28-year-old had personally taken it upon himself to organise a welcoming party for the victorious Narsingh at Mumbai Airport. Only two years ago, Sandeep had emerged at the airport with the World Championships bronze medal around his neck -- in the 66kg Greco Roman category.
Ever since that day, while Narsingh’s stock has soared, Sandeep has been content with being in the background.
On Monday, as news broke that he too had failed a dope test like Narsingh, the spotlight was thrust back on him again.
Sandeep’s World Championships bronze medal was one of the rare times an Indian wrestler has excelled in the Greco Roman style at the world stage. Incidentally, the 28-year-old started out as a freestyle wrestler but switched to Greco Roman because his personal coach at Kandivali, Jagmal Singh, did not think he could match up to two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who competed in the same weight class at the time.
Sandeep’s medal also owed a great deal to Narsingh, who spent a lot of time convincing him to continue wrestling when he had grown disillusioned just a few months before his win at Budapest. The duo’s families lived in the same chawl in Jogeshwari, a suburb in western Mumbai, for over a decade and their fathers worked together as milkmen.
Now, with the possibility of a lengthy ban looming over both wrestlers’ careers due to the positive dope tests, they will once again have to motivate themselves and each other to stick to the sport.