WFI felicitates London Olympics medallists
New Delhi: The windfall continued for grapplers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) today rewarding the two Olympic medal winners with Rs seven and five lakh respectively.
Both Sushil, who won a silver medal at the London Games, and Yogeshwar, who returned with a bronze, were today presented a plaque, a shawl and the cash award at a glittering welcome ceremony organised by the sports` governing body.
The other wrestlers who participated in the Olympics, including Narsingh Pancham Yadav, Amit Kumar Dahiya and Geeta Phogat were presented a cash award of Rs one lakh each, while men`s chief coach Vinod Kumar and women`s chief coach O P Yadav were given a sum of Rs 25,000 each.
Satpal Singh and coach Yashvir Singh were awarded a sum of Rs 25,000 on the occasion while the two foreign coaches Emzar Makhardze and Vladimir Mestvirishvili also got an equal amount of money for their contribution in India`s successful Olympic campaign.
Congratulating the medal winners, the WFI president Brij Bushan Sharan Singh said there was a need to promote the second string of Indian wrestlers, so that the sport can fetch more medals in the future Olympic Games.
"If any sport can win a medal at the Olympics it is wrestling. We need the second and third line of our wrestlers to come up strongly so that we can have a wider pool to choose from, which also increases our medal prospects," he said.
Sharan added that earlier the country`s wrestlers were
only interested in just participating in the Olympics but since Sushil won a bronze at the Beijing Games that mentality has changed.
"Earlier our wrestlers only went for the sake of participation. They were satisfied being called the Olympians but since Sushil won a medal at the Beijing Games, that outlook has changed, now people not only go to participate in the championship but their main aim is to win a medal," he said.
"Both Sushil and Yogeshwar have sacrificed a lot for this, they have remained committed to their goal and they really deserve all the accolades," Sharan added.
Meanwhile, Satpal Singh who has mentored Sushil over the years said that the grappler really deserves the coveted Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the Indian sport.
Sushil created history at the London Games by becoming the only Indian athlete to win back-to-back medals at the Olympics.
"He has got every award in his kitty, whether national or international. He also etched his name into the record books by becoming the lone Indian to win successive medals at the Olympics. He is a real Bharat Ratna, the true son of the country," Satpal said about his ward.