New Delhi: Commonwealth Games gold medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar was on Thursday chosen as the 'Most Popular' athlete of the Games Village here.
Beijing Olympic Games bronze medalist Sushil was chosen through a competition conducted by Games tabloid 'Village News' based on a survey of athletes including that of international delegates.
Sushil got a highest 32 per cent of votes to pip Cyprus shooter Georgios Achilleos and tennis star Sania Mirza.
"He is the world champion and still is so modest. I like his style and his way of wrestling. The man is such a hard worker and I hope God will take him places," said Gene Kapaufs, Australian wrestler.
"It just was not his game that brought him this appreciation from fellow athletes. It was also the manner in which he has conducted himself throughout his stay at the Village that counted.
"His stature as a wrestler is beyond question, while his behaviour as a soft-spoken athlete is a thing to be revered," the 'Village News', a special daily newspaper being published by Organising committee during 12 days (Oct 3-14) of the event, said.
Pakistani wrestler Muhammad Inam said, "He is an inspirational figure, and the best thing about him is his modesty. He is always ready with his smiles."
Inam said, "He was so happy the day when I won the gold, even I defeated an Indian. he was happy for me. He also talks to us about wrestling and we learn a lot from him."
Sushil won gold in 66 kg freestyle category in the ongoing Commonwealth Games.