After boxing, India’s medal hopes at the 2010 Commonwealth Games lie in wrestling. With less than 100 days to go for the 19th edition of the Games in New Delhi, scheduled for October 3-14, the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist Sushil Kumar already has his line of attack planned. 27-year-old Sushil in an exclusive chat with espnstar.com spoke on his tactics, “Counter-attack will be our strategy at the Commonwealth Games. That’s a very good strategy and our coaches are making sure we focus on counter-attack. Also, if my counter-attack is quicker then I’ll be at a greater advantage than my opponent.”
The Delhi grappler commended the efforts of the game’s governing body in installing mat facilities at training centers, adding the replacement of grass with mats is already reflecting on the wrestlers’ improved performance. “Even the small centers ensure training on mats these days, which has aided our performance. SAI as well as the Wrestling Federation of India have installed mats at the centers. This has been a great help to all the juniors, who have already started reaping the benefits.”
India brought home 49 medals from the 2006 Commonwealth Games at Melbourne. However as hosts Indian athletes will be under pressure to build on that tally.
Despite, the fourth finish in Melbourne Games, India were way behind the Top 3 - Australia (221), England (110) and Canada (86).
Sushil promises to give his best shot to swell the medal count in this edition. “Right now, my main focus is on the Commonwealth Games. As a host nation, I will give my 100 per cent to ensure a medal. Yes, there will be lot more pressure at home, but that comes with the support. So I am really looking forward to the challenge. After that, my focus will shift to the Asian Games in November.”
Unlike some of the boxers, Sushil Kumar has no complaints over the facilities for their Commonwealth Games preparations, and is looking to make the most of the training stint in Europe as well.
The wrestling team will soon head to Belarus for a month-long extensive training in Belarus.