Sushil KUMAR

India IND

  • Olympic Medals
    1 S
    1 B
  • Games participations
    3
  • First Olympic Games
    Athens 2004
  • Year of Birth
    1983
Olympic Results

Biography

Sushil KUMAR

Sushil Kumar is India's most decorated wrestler. He has the distinction of being the country's first-ever two-time Olympic medallist in an individual event and the first Indian to win a wrestling world championship.

At the Beijing 2008 Games, Sushil Kumar joined India's list of Olympic medallists with his bronze in the 66kg category, the nation's first Olympic wrestling medal since Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav's bronze in 1952.

Four years later at London 2012, the star Indian wrestler added more glitter to catapult over it with a silver medal.

His second Olympic medal set in stone the legacy of Sushil Kumar and in more ways than one, it epitomised his spirit and sheer love for the sport.

"Apart from wrestling, I don't know much else," says the three-time Olympian.

Born in Baprola village in South West Delhi, he was inspired to take up wrestling by his father as well as a cousin and soon became one of Wrestling Federation of India's (WFI) most celebrated athletes with personal accolades like the Arjuna Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Padma Shri in his cabinet.

After training in the famous Chhatrasal Stadium from the age of 14, Sushil Kumar got his first taste of success at the 1998 World Cadet Games where he won gold and followed that up with another gold at the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship two years later.

His first few experiences in senior tournaments ended with him winning bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships and gold at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 2003.

His first Olympic appearance saw him achieve a 14th spot finish in the 60 kg weight class at Athens 2004.

Even though he couldn't quite make the impact he had hoped for, the experience of Athens proved to be invaluable for Sushil Kumar, who rediscovered his best form to bag bronze in the 2006 Asian Games and win gold medals at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 2005 and 2007.

His wins served as good preparation and helped him grow in confidence heading into the 2008 Beijing Games. While he went down in the opening round to Andriy Stadnik of Ukraine, a repechage allowed the Indian wrestler a shot at the bronze.

He first went past Doug Schwab of the USA and then won against Belarus' Albert Batyrov after staging a comeback in the match. In the bronze fixture, he got the better of Kazakh Leonid Spiridonov 3-2 to earn his medal.

The Indian freestyle wrestler continued to grow in stature after his Olympic bronze and in 2010 became the first Indian to win a world wrestling title with a victory over the local favourite in the final of the World Wrestling Championships.

The same year saw him win the first of his three consecutive gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The Indian wrestler's most memorable moment yet, though, came at the 2012 London Olympics. In his opening match of the last 16, he took on defending Olympic champion Ramazan Sahin. In yet another match, he turned a 0-2 deficit around to take the match against the Turkish grappler.

He then went past Ikhtiyor Navruzov and Akzhurek Tanatarov to reach the final where he met Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu. While the Japanese wrestler proved too tough, Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to win individual Olympic medals on two occasions, this time with a silver.

Following his London 2012 triumph, Sushil Kumar went on to win gold medals at the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but failed to make the cut for both the Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

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Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

London 2012

S
Welterweight, Freestyle (≤66 kilograms)
Welterweight, Freestyle (≤66 kilograms) Wrestling
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Beijing 2008

B
Welterweight, Freestyle (≤66 kilograms)
Welterweight, Freestyle (≤66 kilograms) Wrestling
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Athens 2004

#14
Lightweight, Freestyle (≤60 kilograms)
Lightweight, Freestyle (≤60 kilograms) Wrestling

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