Sushil looking to secure Olympic berth in China: coach

New Delhi: Desperate to book a berth for the upcoming London Games, Beijing Olympics bronze-medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar is ready to leave no stone unturned during the three-day Olympic Qualifying tournament, to be held in Taiyuan, China from April 27.

Sushil, who failed to secure an Olympic berth during the Asian qualifiers in Kazakhstan last month, is all set to achieve his goal this time around when he leads a 15-member contingent to China, said his coach Yashvir Singh.

"Sushil has got more chances of qualifying in China. He had some injury concerns in Kazakhstan but now he is totally fit and determined to seal his place in the London Olympics," Yashvir told PTI.

Although there is another qualifying event scheduled in Finland from May 4-6 but Sushil would look to wrap it up in China itself.

Yashvir said Sushil has realised his folly in the earlier qualifiers and has worked on the lacunae to come out as a better equipped player.

"Sushil has realised the mistakes he committed in Kazakhstan and has worked hard on the grey areas, besides the pressure of not having qualified for the Olympics so far has also inspired him to do well in China," he insisted.

Yashvir, who shares a long association with the former world champion, also said the grappler has adapted well to the changes in his game.

"We have been working on Sushil`s game since last four-five months and he has adapted well to the new technique. The training in USA has particularly helped a lot.

"Sushil is a well recognised wrestler and like we watch the footage of the other grapplers, they too keep a tab on our athletes. So it becomes important to bring in some novelty to your game so that you don`t become too predictable," he insisted.

Chief coach Vinod Kumar, however, chose to differ from his colleague, Yashvir.

"We have not made any changes in the technique of the players. We understand it is very difficult to make changes to ones technique in a short span of time, but we have worked out on different tactics," Kumar said.

Kumar was also optimistic about the chances of Narsingh Yadav making it to the London Olympics.

"Two of our boys, Sushil and Narsingh are almost sure of securing a berth in the London Olympics in China," Kumar said.

"Narsingh is a good athlete, he has prepared well for the tournament but it depends upon what sort of a pool he is drawn into," he added.

Regarding Sushil, Kumar said he was totally fit and ready for the challenge ahead.

"Sushil missed the mark in Kazakhstan just by a whisker. He had some injury issues with his shoulder, plus his opponent had the local advantage. But now he is totally fit and I am sure he will qualify for the London Games."

Coach of the Indian Greco Roman team, Hargobind Singh was optimistic about the chances of his wards getting through to the Olympics in the World qualifiers, however, he was candid in accepting that it would be tough for the country`s wrestlers in the category to finish on the podium in London.

"Rajinder Kumar (55kg) and Anil Kumar (60kg) have good chance of qualifying for the Olympics. However, a lot will depend on the draw," Hargobind said.

Asked what were the chances of the Greco Roman wrestlers at the Olympics, he said, "Right now we are concentrating on the qualifiers, but to be honest it will be tough for our boys to get a medal in London."

Asked why India lagged behind in the Greco Roman category, Hargobind said one of the prime reason was that the country started late in the category.

"India is traditionally a free-style playing country, we started very late in the Greco Roman. There are just four centres for the style across the country and people are generally not interested in taking up the Greco Roman," he said.


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