Sushil Kumar (born 26 May 1983) is a former Indian wrestler. He carried the Indian flag at the opening ceremony of 2012 London Olympics. His 2008 Olympic medal was second for India in wrestling, and the first since Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav's bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics. In July 2009, he received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna – India's highest honour for sportspersons. On 3 October 2010, Kumar handed the Queen's Baton to Prince Charles in the Queen's Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Sushil won the gold medal in the 74 kg division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
|Born||26 May 1983|
|Height||166 cm (5 ft 5 in)|
|Coached by||Satpal Singh|
|Updated on 26 February 2018.|
Kumar started training in pehlwani at the Chhatrasal Stadium's akhada at the age of 14. He was trained at the akhada by Yashvir and Ramphal, later by Arjuna awardee Satpal and then at the Indian Railways camp by Gyan Singh and Rajkumar Baisla Gurjar.
After switching to freestyle wrestling Kumar's first success came at the World Cadet Games in 1998 where he won the gold medal in his weight category, followed by a gold at the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship in 2000. Moving out of the junior competitions, in 2003 Kumar won the bronze medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships and a gold at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. Kumar placed fourth at the 2003 World Championships, but this went largely unnoticed by the Indian media as he fared badly in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, placing 14th in the 60 kg weight class. He won gold medals at the Commonwealth wrestling championships in 2005 and 2007. He placed seventh in the 2007 World Championships and won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He won a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, becoming the first person to win two Olympic medals for independent India. Kumar was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2006 and a coveted Padma shree by the Indian Government in 2011.
2008 Beijing OlympicsEdit
Kumar lost to Andriy Stadnik in the first round of the 66 kg freestyle wrestling event, leaving his medal hopes hinging on the repechage. He defeated Doug Schwab in the first repechage round and Albert Batyrov in the second round. In the bronze medal match on 20 August 2008, Kumar beat Leonid Spiridonov 3:1. Kumar disclosed that he had no masseur during the three bouts he won within a span of 70 minutes to take the bronze. The team manager Kartar Singh who is a former Asian Games medallist acted as the masseur for him.
2010 World Wrestling Championships, MoscowEdit
At the 2010 World Wrestling Championships Kumar became the first Indian to win a world title in wrestling. He beat the local favourite Alan Gogaev of Russia 3–1 in the finals in the 66 kg category.
2010 Commonwealth Games, DelhiEdit
Kumar won gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi on 10 October 2010. He beat Heinrich Barnes 7–0 in the finals in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category. The bout was stopped by the referee in the second round. Earlier, in the semifinals, Kumar defeated Famara Jarjou 3–0 within 9 seconds. In the quarterfinals, Kumar defeated Muhammad Salman 10–0 in 46 seconds.
2012 London OlympicsEdit
Kumar won a silver medal after losing the final to Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu. Earlier, he had entered the final amid some controversy by beating Kazakhastan's Akzhurek Tanatarov in the semifinal. The Kazakh athlete claimed that Kumar had bitten his ear, which was denied by the latter. Kumar was the Olympic flag bearer for India at the opening ceremony. This win made him the first Indian to win 2 individual Olympic Medals since India's Independence.
2014 Commonwealth Games, GlasgowEdit
2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, AustraliaEdit
Kumar won gold in 74 kg category on 12 April 2018, Thursday, beating South Africa’s Johannes Botha in the final that lasted 80 seconds thus achieving a feat of winning 3 gold medals in 3 consecutive Commonwealth Games.
|2012||2012 Olympic Games||London||66 kg||Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (JPN)||Loss|
|2008||2008 Olympic Games||Beijing||66 kg||Andriy Stadnik (UKR)||Loss||Leonid Spiridonov (KAZ)||Win|
|2004||2004 Olympic Games||Athens||60 kg||14th||Yandro Quintana (CUB)||Loss|
|2019||2019 World Wrestling Championships||Nur-sultan||74 kg||20th||Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev (AZE)||Loss|
|2011||2011 World Wrestling Championships||Istanbul||66 kg||14th||Andriy Stadnik (UKR)||Loss|
|2010||2010 World Wrestling Championships||Moscow||66 kg||Alan Gogaev (RUS)||Win|
|2009||2009 World Wrestling Championships||Herning||66 kg||5th||Rasul Dzhukayev (RUS)||Loss||Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (JPN)||Loss|
|2007||2007 World Wrestling Championships||Baku||66 kg||7th||Andriy Stadnik (UKR)||Loss|
|2006||2006 World Wrestling Championships||Guangzhou||66 kg||13th||Elman Asgarov (AZE)||Loss|
|2003||2003 World Wrestling Championships||New York City||60 kg||4th||Arif Abdullayev (AZE)||Loss|
Kumar was inspired to take up wrestling by his father, himself a wrestler, and his cousin Sandeep. Sandeep later stopped competing as the family could only support one wrestler. Kumar trained in pehlwani wrestling at the akhada (wrestling school) in the Chhatrasal Stadium from the age of 14. With minimal funds and poor training facilities for wrestling in India, even for the 2008 Olympic team, his family made sure he obtained the necessary dietary supplements by sending him tinned milk, ghee and fresh vegetables. He is a devoted Hindu and strict vegetarian.
He has completed his Graduation (B.P.E.) and Post-Graduation (M.P.E.) from Noida College of Physical Education, Dadri. Kumar is presently employed with the Indian Railways as an assistant commercial manager.
Delhi Police arrested Sushil Kumar in connection with the murder of former junior national wrestling champion Sagar Dhankhar during a brawl in the Chhatrasal Stadium on 4 May 2021. After arresting Kumar, Delhi Police presented him in Rohini court and the court ordered a six-day remand of Kumar to Delhi police.
Commercial endorsements and mediaEdit
"I didn’t want to be associated with a liquor brand in any form as it would send a wrong signal to the youth. The sporting tradition that I have been raised in values discipline way above money."
– Sushil Kumar explaining reason for refusing a liquor ad.
Kumar endorses brands such as Mountain Dew, Eicher tractors, and the National Egg Coordination Committee which earns him ₹10 million (US$140,000) annually. He refused the offer of ₹5 million (US$70,000) to appear in a surrogate ad for a leading liquor brand.
He appeared in the Indian documentary film Carve Your Destiny by Anubhav Srivastava. Kumar also served as a judge on MTV India's reality television series MTV Roadies. Other media appearances include in The Kapil Sharma Show and Comedy Nights with Kapil.
Awards, rewards and recognitionEdit
- Arjuna Award, 2005
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award (joint), India's highest sporting honour.
- Padma Shri, 2011
- For the bronze medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics
- ₹5.5 million (US$77,000) cash award and promotion to Assistant Commercial Manager from chief ticketing inspector by Railway Ministry (his employer)
- ₹5 million (US$70,000) cash award from the Delhi Government.
- ₹2.5 million (US$35,000) award by the Haryana Government.
- ₹2.5 million (US$35,000) cash award by the Steel Ministry of India.
- ₹500,000 (US$7,000) cash award by R K Global
- DSP Rank in Haryana police department.
- K Global.
- ₹1 million (US$14,000) cash award by the Maharashtra State Government.
- ₹1 million (US$14,000) cash award from MTNL.
- For the gold medal at 2010 World Wrestling Championships
- ₹1 million (US$14,000) cash award from Indian Railways (his employer) & out-of-turn promotion from his current position of Asst. Commercial Manager.
- ₹1 million (US$14,000) cash award from Sports Authority of India, (Government of India).
- ₹1 million (US$14,000) cash award from the Delhi Government
- For the silver medal at 2012 London Olympics
- ₹20 million (US$280,000) cash reward from the Delhi Government
- ₹15 million (US$210,000) cash reward from the Haryana Government
- ₹7.5 million (US$110,000) cash reward from the Indian Railway
- Land area in Sonipat for Wrestling academy by the Haryana Government.
- ₹1 million (US$14,000) cash award from ONGC.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sushil Kumar.|
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...India’s only individual double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar.
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