Sushil Kumar (wrestler)

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This article is about the wrestler. For other people with the same name, see Sushil Kumar.
Sushil Kumar03.png
Personal information
Nationality Indian
Born (1983-05-26) 26 May 1983 (age 32)[1]
Village Baprola (Najafgarh), haryana
Height 166 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Spouse(s) Savi Singh
Country India
Sport Wrestling
Event(s) 66 kg freestyle
Club NIS, Delhi
Coached by Satpal Singh Padamshree, monvir Singh, Rajkumar Baisla Gurjar ( Dhyan Chand awardee)
Updated on 13 August 2012.

Sushil Kumar Solanki (born 26 May 1983)[1] is an Indian World Champion wrestler who won the gold medal in the 66 kg freestyle competition at the FILA 2010 World Wrestling Championships, a silver medal in the Men's 66kg Freestyle Wrestling event at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze medal in the Men's 66kg Freestyle Wrestling event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which made him the first Indian to win back to back individual Olympic medals.[2] Sushil Kumar competed against Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan in the London Olympics finals. Kumar defeated Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhstan in the repechage round to win the bronze in Beijing Olympics.[2] This was the second medal for India in wrestling, and the first since K D Jadhav's bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games.[3] On July 2009, he received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna - India's highest honour for sportspersons.[4] On 3 October 2010, Sushil Kumar was the final baton bearer who handed the Queen's Baton to Prince Charles in the Queen's Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.[5][6] Sushil won the gold medal in 74 kg Men's freestyle in 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow.[7]


Sushil Kumar was born in the village of Baprola,[8] near Najafgarh in South West Delhi. Kumar's father is Diwan Singh,[9] who was a DTC bus driver and mother Kamla Devi a housewife. He was inspired to take up wrestling by his cousin Sandeep and his father who was himself a pehlwan (wrestler). Sandeep quit wrestling as the family could only support one wrestler. Kumar trained at the akhada (wrestling school) in the Chhatrasal Stadium from the age of 14. With minimal funds and poor training facilities for wrestling in India, even for the 2008 Olympic team, his family made sure he obtained the necessary dietary supplements by sending him tinned milk, ghee and vegetables.[10][11] He is a devoted Hindu and strict vegetarian.[12][13] Kumar is presently employed with the Indian Railways as an Assistant Commercial Manager.[3]


Sushil Kumar at 2008 Summer Olympics

Kumar started training at the Chhatrasal Stadium's akhada at the age of 14. Trained at the akhada by Indian pehlwans Yashvir and Ramphal, and later by Arjuna awardee Satpal and then at the Railways camp by coach Gyan Singh and Rajkumar Baisla Gurjar ,[3] Sushil endured tough training conditions which included sharing a mattress with a fellow wrestler and sharing a dormitory with twenty others.[14] at the age of 18 he became state champ. His first success came at the World Cadet Games in 1998 where he won the gold medal in his weight category. He followed this up with a gold in the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship in 2000. Moving out of the junior competition, Sushil Kumar won the bronze medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships in 2003 and followed that up with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. Sushil Kumar placed fourth in the World Championships in 2003, but this went largely unnoticed by the Indian media as he fared badly in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, in the 60 kg class placing 14th. He won gold medals at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 2005 and 2007. He ranked seventh in the 2007 World Wrestling Championships and won a bronze medal in 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He also qualified for 2012 Summer Olympics taking place at London and won a silver medal by defeating a wrestler from Kazakhstan, thus becoming the first person to win 2 Olympic medals for independent India.[15] Sushil Kumar was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2006. Sushil Kumar was awarded with coveted Padma shree by Govt. of India in 2011. [16]

2008 Beijing Olympics[edit]

Out of the field of 21, 11 wrestlers including Kumar obtained a bye to the 1/8 round. He lost to Andriy Stadnik from Ukraine in the first round of the 66 kg freestyle wrestling event,[17] leaving his medal hopes hinging on the repechage. Sushil Kumar defeated American Doug Schwab in the first repechage round and Belarusian Albert Batyrov in the second repechage round. In the bronze medal match on 20 August 2008, Kumar beat Spiridonov 3:1, with scores of 2-1, 0-1, 2-0 in the three rounds.[18] Sushil Kumar disclosed that he had no masseur during the three bouts he won within a span of 70 minutes to take the bronze. The team manager Kartar Singh who is a former Asian Games medallist acted as the masseur for him.[19]

2010 World Wrestling Championships, Moscow[edit]

Sushil Kumar created history when he became the first Indian to win a gold medal at FILA 2010 World Wrestling Championships held in Moscow on 12 September 2010. Sushil Kumar beat local hope and crowd favourite Alan Gogaev of Russia 3-1 in the finals for the gold in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category. Earlier, he had won a thrilling semi-final match against European champion Jabrail Hasanov of Azerbaijan 4-3 to make it to the final (He scored a 2-point move in the last 5 seconds to come from 2-3 behind). After getting a bye in the first round, Sushil had routed Akritidis Anastasios of Greece 6-0 in the second round, beat Martin Sebastian of Germany 4-1 in the pre-quarters, and demolished Mongolian Buyanjav Batzorig 9-1 in the quarter-finals.

2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi[edit]

Sushil Kumar won gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi on 10 October 2010. He beat Heinrich Barnes of South Africa 7-0 in the finals in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category. The South African wrestler could not endure more than three and half minutes in front of Sushil. In fact the bout had to be stopped by the referee in the second round. Earlier, in the semifinals, Sushil defeated Famara Jarjou of the Gambia 3-0 in a record 9 seconds.[20] In the quarterfinals, Sushil Kumar defeated Muhammad Salman of Pakistan 10-0 in 46 seconds.

2012 London Olympics[edit]

Sushil Kumar with Olympic Freestyle Wrestling, 66 kg - medalists

Sushil Kumar won the Silver medal of 66 kg Free Style Wrestling after losing the final to Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan.[21] Earlier, he had entered the final amid some controversy by beating Kazakhastan's Akzhurek Tanatarov in the semifinal. The Kazakh athlete claimed that Kumar had bitten his ear, which was denied by the latter.[22] Sushil had also led the Indian contingent at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games and was its flag bearer at the opening ceremony.[23]

2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow[edit]

Sushil Kumar defeated Pakistani wrestler Qamar Abbas in the men's 74kg final to win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Sushil Kumar took just 107 seconds to achieve the victory via the Win by Fall criterion.

Commercial endorsements[edit]

"I didn’t want to be associated with a liquor brand in any form as it would send a wrong signal to the youth. The sporting tradition that I have been raised in values discipline way above money."

- Sushil Kumar explaining reason for refusing a liquor ad.[24]

Sushil Kumar endorses brands such as Mountain Dew, Eicher tractors, and the National Egg Coordination Committee which earns him 10 million (US$150,000) annually. He refused the offer of 5 million (US$75,000) to appear in a Surrogate ad for a leading liquor brand.[24]


Sushil Kumar appeared on Television reality show Roadies 9 in 2012.

Awards, rewards and recognition[edit]

For the bronze medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award (joint), India's highest sporting honour.
  • 5.5 million (US$83,000) cash award and promotion to Assistant Commercial Manager from chief ticketing inspector by Railway Ministry (his employer)[25]
  • 5 million (US$75,000) cash award from the Delhi Government.[25]
  • 2.5 million (US$38,000) award by the Haryana Government.[25]
  • 2.5 million (US$38,000) cash award by the Steel Ministry of India.[25]
  • 500000 (US$7,500) cash award by R K Global.[25]
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash award by the Maharashtra State Government.
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash award from MTNL.
For the gold medal at 2010 World Wrestling Championships
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash award from Indian Railways (his employer) & out-of-turn promotion from his current position of Asst. Commercial Manager.
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash award from Sports Authority of India, (Government of India).
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash award from the Delhi Government
For the silver medal at 2012 London Olympics
  • 20 million (US$300,000) cash reward from the Delhi Government
  • 15 million (US$230,000) cash reward from the Haryana Government
  • 07.5 million (US$110,000) cash reward from the Indian Railway
  • Land area in Sonipat for Wrestling academy by the Haryana Government.
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash award from ONGC.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Athlete Biography: Sushil Kumar". The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Archived from the original on 23 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Kumar claims 63kg bronze". The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c Masand, Ajai (20 August 2008). "Meet Sushil Kumar, the shy guy". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 21 August 2008. 
  4. ^ Mary Kom, Vijender and Sushil get Khel Ratna
  5. ^ CBC, 2010 Commonwealth Games, Opening Ceremonies, airdate 3 October 2010, 9:00am-12:30pm (Eastern), c. 2h20m mark, CBC Television main network
  6. ^ "CWG Opening ceremony: Live Blog", Geetika Rustagi, 3 October 2010 (Retrieved 5 October 2010)
  7. ^ "Commonwealth Games 2014 : Wrestler`s Amit Kumar, Sushil Kumar and Vinesh won gold". Patrika Group. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sushil’s journey: From mud pits to Olympic podiums". The Hindu. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Kallury, Kruttika. "Sushil Kumar: Lord of the ring". India Today (India Today Group). 
  10. ^ Ganesan, Uthra (21 August 2008). "Najafgarh hails golden bronze boy". Express India. Retrieved 21 August 2008. 
  11. ^ "Sushil puts Boprala on wrestling map of the world". Sify. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2006. 
  12. ^ Sengupta, Somini (25 August 2008). "3 Olympic medals for a new India". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ "A sporty edge". The Telegraph. 
  14. ^ Chakravertty, Shreya (21 August 2008). "20 to a room, two to a bed: This is where the medal came from". The Indian Express. Retrieved 21 August 2008. 
  15. ^ "Sushil finally qualifies for London Olympics". IBN Live. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Padma Shree for Laxman, Sushil Kumar". The Hindu. 
  17. ^ "Grappler Sushil Kumar wins bronze". The Times of India. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  18. ^ "Bout Result Men's FR 66 kg Bronze /Bout No.92 /Mat B". The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. 20 August 2008. Archived from the original on 29 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  19. ^ Sengupta, Abhijit (28 August 2008). "Lessons from Beijing". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 September 2008. 
  20. ^ "Somdev Devvarman wins 29th CWG gold for India". The Times of India. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  21. ^ Olympics: Sushil Kumar writes history, wins silver for India
  22. ^ "No, I didn't bite my opponent's ear: Sushil Kumar". Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  23. ^ "Olympics 2012: Sushil Kumar promises a fight by Indian wrestlers". Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  24. ^ a b "Sushil Kumar says no to Rs. 50-lakh liquor ad". Hindustan Times. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c d e "Rewards pour in for Sushil Kumar". The Hindu. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  26. ^ "ONGC announces 25 lakh rupees for each Olympics Gold". ONGC. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
Flagbearer for  India
London 2012
Succeeded by