Seven years back, Sushil Kumar made history by becoming the first Indian to win a World wrestling championship gold medal when he overpowered home favourite and expected champion Alan Gogaev to win the 66kg freestyle title in Moscow, Russia.
The then 27-year old Sushil got the better of Gogaev in two straight rounds, winning 2-1 and 1-0 and sealing a historic triumph. The victory in the title-bout made Sushil the first Indian grappler to put in his kitty both Olympic and World championship medals at the time he already held the Asian and Commonwealth titles.
The then Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President G.S. Mander had said, “Sushil had proved his mettle at every level and now he has done it at the World level. It is a big thing to be the World, Asian and Commonwealth champion at the same time.”
After becoming a World champion, Sushil had said in an interview to Times of India that he was offered money to lose to the Russian finalist. “A member of my entourage came up to me and said they want to talk about the bout…when he explained the whole thing, I was aghast,” he said.
The 34-year old, however, did not take the offer since winning the bout was a matter of honour for him as well as India. After defeating Alan, everyone in the stadium in Moscow stood up and clapped, for which Sushil said he felt “humbled”.