Olympians, coaches hail Indian grapplers`show

Updated: Aug 13, 2012, 19:18 PM IST

New Delhi: A day after India finished the Olympics on a rousing note, with Sushil Kumar clinching a historic double, the country`s former wrestlers said that the feat would inspire many more to follow in the footsteps of those who tasted success at the British capital.

With his silver in 66kg freestyle category, Sushil yesterday became the first Indian to win back-to-back individual medals in the world`s biggest sporting extravaganza. He had won a bronze in Beijing four years ago.

"We went to Beijing Games, keeping in mind that we have to win a medal, but this time our focus was on nothing less than a gold. And I believe our wrestlers put up a great performance.

Both Yogeshwar and Sushil were brilliant," said Olympian Kartar Singh, who represented India`s wrestling contingent in three successive Games from 1980.

The Asian Games gold medallist added that the glory in London Games will inspire more and more youngsters to pursue the traditional sport.

"Wrestling in India has a long history and the heroics in London will inspire youngsters to seriously follow the sport. We have some up and coming talent in the country and I hope the medals tally only swells from here on," he said.

Kartar also felt that Indian wrestlers could have finished the Games with an even better result.

"Yogeshwar could have finished on a better note. He was not able to latch on to the opportunities provided to him. However, to finish the Olympics with a bronze, is a great achievement.

"Sushil did not let go any chance that came his way. He fought exceptionally well and if he would not have been hampered by an injury in the final, he would have probably finished with the gold," said Kartar.