Sushil, Yogeshwar experienced enough to make London Oly count

Updated: Jul 16, 2012, 15:15 PM IST

New Delhi: Beijing bronze medallist Sushil Kumar and his long-time friend and fellow grappler Yogeshwar Dutt have enough experience to make the London Olympics a memorable event, feels their coach Yashvir Singh.

Both Sushil and Yogeshwar`s coach and mentor Yashvir, who has closely witnessed their ascent to the higher echelons of the sport, said the wrestlers have gained a lot of experience since their first Olympics in Athens in 2004 and are focused to make the quadrennial event count this time around.

"They have the experience of two Olympics behind them, besides the nine World Championships and they are fully aware of what would be at stake in London. Both of them are in great shape right now and I am hopeful that they will be able to extract the desired result," Yashvir said.

The FILA award winning coach, who returned home yesterday along with the Olympic-bound wrestlers after a training camp in Colorado Springs, said the stint at the US-based high performance centre has infused a fresh confidence among the athletes ahead of the Olympics.

"The training camp at the USA was very effective. It helped the players to get a feel of the things to come and gave them a confidence that they can finish at the top in London," he said.

"The players got an opportunity to test their skills against some of the other competing nations, which is obviously going to help them in the Olympics. Whatever work needed to be done on the physical or technical side has been done. The focus right now is on getting more and more practice bouts so that our athletes peak at the right time," Yashvir, who will be accompanying the team to Belarus for a conditioning-cum-training camp ahead of the Olympics, added.

Yashvir, however, pointed that he needed to be extremely careful with the athletes right now, as an injury at this point of time will be a big blow to India`s chances.

Speaking on what can be expected of his two wards at the London Games, Yashvir said, "If you look the wrestling around the world mainly revolves around Europe and Asia. Sushil and Yogeshwar both have been able to not only compete against them, but have also defeated them on various occasions.

"They have successfully been able to challenge the domination of the countries like Iran, Uzbekistan and Russia, so I see no reason why they can`t finish at the top in London."

Meanwhile, chief coach Vinod Kumar is also optimistic about India`s chances at the Olympics.

"The camp at Colorado Springs couldn`t have come at a better time for the team. All the players were receptive to the demands of the game and utilised every opportunity to the best of their ability," Vinod Kumar said.

PTI