Life couldn’t have been better for 20-year-old Satyawart Kadian. Just four years back he was glued to the television, watching Sushil Kumar run through his opponents on way to gold at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games. Now, he is not only part of the team that is once again expected to win medals in all seven freestyle categories, but is also sharing space with his idol, Sushil.
Son of Arjuna Awardee Satyawan, a former Olympian who was part of the Seoul Olympics contingent, Satyawart always knew wrestling was his calling.
What he did not know was that it would take him only two years after the 2010 Games to break into the senior team.
“I watched both Sushil and Yogeshwar’s bouts on TV when the Games were held in New Delhi. So it feels a little strange that I am sharing space with them now,” Satyawart said, before adding, “I always knew that I would be part of the next Commonwealth Games team.”
Having started training in the akhada run by his father, Satyawart first came into the limelight with a creditable bronze-winning performance in the 100 kg category at the first-ever Youth Olympics held in Singapore in 2010.
A good show at the 2012 wrestling nationals in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, earned him the ticket to the national camp. Since then, Satyawart’s performance graph has gone up considerably.
Last August, he won a bronze in the 96 kg division at the World Junior Wrestling Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. He then went on to dominate the 2013 nationals in the 96 kg category, decimating Sumit 7-1 to win the gold. But the biggest prize in his fledgling career came in 2014.
He bagged the bronze at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships that was held in Astana, Kazakstan, in April this year. It is performances like these that have raised the expectations of the coaching staff.
“It is rare for us to get a wrestler who is competing for medals regularly in the higher weight divisions. We are very lucky to have Satyawart,” said chief coach Vinod Kumar, who was a teammate of Satyawart’s father at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
“And the best part is he is only 20 years old. If we keep working on him we are sure he will become one of the mainstays of this team in the years to come.”