India’s only individual double Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar is convinced that initiatives like Khelo India Youth Games have the potential to unearth and create medal winners on the international stage. “Such events will give our young athletes the feeling and exposure of international events. This can only help India find and mould talent that can shine at the top level,” Sushil was quoted as saying in a media release.
“Games like these create the atmosphere we find at top international events….India will reap the benefits of providing such opportunities and facilities in the future, that is for sure,” added the star grappler.
Asked if achievers like him were inspiration for the next generation, Sushil downplayed his image as a role model. “We all learnt from our seniors and I can only hope the young people here will do the same,” he noted.
Sushil, who won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and went one better at London four years later with silver, preferred not to talk of favourites for the Games, even though his home state Haryana topped the medal tally at last year’s Khelo India School Games.
“If India can spot talent here and groom that for the future from these Games, no matter from which state, it will benefit the country,” he said.
On his own plans, Sushil said he was fit and was waiting to decide on his competition schedule once the international programme calendar became clear.