Sushil confident of qualifying for Olympics in Kazakhstan

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2011, 21:36 PM IST

New Delhi: Former world champion wrestler Sushil Kumar on Wednesday expressed confidence that he would qualify for the London Olympics at the Asian Championship in Kazakhstan in March next year.

"I am confident of qualifying for the London Olympics at first qualifying event in March," said Sushil Kumar.

After the Asian Wrestling Championship, there would be two more opportunities for the grapplers to qualify for the London Games as back-to-back qualifying events are scheduled to be held in China in April and in Finland in May next year.

But Sushil said that he was certain to seal the London berth in the first qualification round in Kazakhstan itself.

"It would not be difficult to maintain the fitness level even if I do not qualify for Olympics in Kazakhstan as the other tournaments are in a gap of small durations. So it will be easier to maintain the momentum, but I`m sure of qualifying in March only," said Sushil on the sidelines of a function where the promoters of wrestling in India were awarded for their contribution.

Meanwhile, Sushil is all set to train at Colorado Springs, United States from January for a month.

"I am going to Colorado Springs to attend a month-long camp and will be training hard there. Currently also I am undergoing a strict training regime with the entire focus on Olympics," he revealed.

The 28-year-old said that he was confident of peaking at the right time.

"My coach (Satpal Singh) has choked out a full plan on how to go about in the Olympics and I would be following it closely," he insisted.

Sushil declined to comment on who among the sportspersons should get the Bharat Ratna first.

Asked which wrestler`s name he would recommend for the highest civilian honour, Sushil said, "I would like to recommend the name of Satpalji for the Bharat Ratna."

Meanwhile, Satpal said that he would not like to speak much at the moment about the chances of the Indian wrestlers in the Olympics.

"I would not say anything right now but show the medal(s) after the Olympics," said Satpal.

"Sushil is the best medal hope in the Olympics," he added.

In the event here today, Asian Association Wrestling Council (AAWC) roped in real estate company JMD Group`s founder and promoter Sunil Bedi to promote wrestling in Asia.

The AAWC Korea President Chang Kew Kim, who was also present on the occasion, announced that India would host Wrestling Grand Prix next year and another international competition in 2013.

PTI