Apart from skill and will, it needed a word of wisdom from senior pro Sushil Kumar to inspire rising grappler Sandeep Tulsi Yadav to go all out for a medal in the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest.
Few encouraging words from the double Olympic medallist ensured that the 25-year-old Yadav stood on the podium with the bronze medal dangling around his neck.
“Before coming back from the championships, Sushil ‘bhai’ dropped into my room to advice me on how to go about it. He told me that you have a genuine chance of winning a medal and asked me not to think about the opponents. His words spurred me to give my 100 per cent,” Greco Roman wrestler Yadav said.
Yadav delivered India its first-ever medal in the Greco Roman category when he defeated Serbia’s Aleksandar Maksimovic in the 66kg division on Sunday.
“It was a dream come true. There were expectations from me and I am happy that I delivered,” the Mumbai lad said.
After being sidelined in the home Asian Championships in April due to a shoulder injury, Yadav vowed to make an impact at the Worlds and was happy to rise to the occasion.
It was in 2009 Nationals that Yadav caught the eye of the senior coaches and was given a year-long stint at the national camp in Sonepat. The experience there transformed Yadav into a much confident grappler.
“I got to learn every minute detail about Greco Roman wrestling. I went onto win the 2010 Nationals after it. It made me a better fighter,” said Yadav, who has won gold in sub-junior and bronze in junior nationals.