'Overcoming injury can be challenging'

Double Olympics medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar’s plan to train with the world’s top wrestlers in the US reportedly could not materialise as he sustained fresh injury while practising with his sparring partner Sumit Sehrawat (74kg category) at the Capital’s Chhatrasal Stadium recently.

While injuries have been the most frequent part of his profession, they have impacted lives in a “quite unreasonable way”.

The grappler tells Metrolife, “Once a professional is injured, his entire career is at stake. Either one has to go to the US for treatment or take numerous kinds of treatment at home. There is no guarantee of relief and recuperating on time.” A sabbatical and a couple of injuries kept the 32-year-old out of action following the 2012 London Games, leading to youngster Narsingh Pancham Yadav to take up his spot and becoming a regular in the 74 kg category.

He says, “The highs and lows are part of the game.” And jokingly adds, “I will be around because I don’t know anything else other than to wrestle.”

Kumar who started wrestling since the age of 14, says that proper training facilities, dietary supplements and necessary treatments can be hard to find. With this thought in mind, Kumar has announced the launch of his foundation ‘Sushil4Sports’ for the treatment and care of injured athletes through BIG FM's radio programme BIG Rakshak.

He shares with Metrolife, “Across sports, it is so common to be injured and overcoming injury can be most challenging. I feel it is due to lack of injury centres that many players are forced to quit.”

The foundation’s principal function is to raise funds from the private sector and distribute funds to provide financial assistance to amateur sportsmen and women throughout India. The foundation has identified a few talents in the first phase of the campaign. The first one being 16-year-old Beant Singh, touted as the next Milkha Singh, having won Gold in 800m at the Asian Youth Athletics Championship and Gold at World School
Championship.

Kumar, is perhaps the most consistent sports icon of the country with a tally of 14 medals from Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian events. He says he is happy with the winning attitude.

“Earlier we used to go to the Olympics or World Championships to participate, but now we go to win medals. This has become a positive trend now,” says Kumar who won the freestyle 66 kg silver at the 2012 London Olympics and bronze medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics. He tells Metrolife, “I am concentrating on 2016 Rio Olympics for now, and hope to register a good win.”  

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