Sushil Kumar Solanki (सुशील कुमार सोलंकी), the wrestler, is recipient of the country's highest sporting honour, The Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna, from President Pratibha Patil on Khel Diwas 29th August 2009 at Rastrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. Shushil Kumar was born on 26 May 1983 at village Baprola in Delhi. He was awarded Arjuna Award - 2005.
- World Championship: Gold, Moscow 2010
- Olympic Games: Bronze, Beijing 2008
- Asian Championships: Gold, Delhi 2010; Bronze, Jeju Island, Korea 2008; Bronze, New Delhi 2003
- Commonwealth Championship: Gold, London 2007; Gold, Cape Town 2005; Gold, London 2003;
- Commonwealth Games: Gold, Delhi 2010
Gold Medal Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010
Sushil Kumar won gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi on 10 October 2010. He beat Heinrich Barnes of South Africa in the finals in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category.
He was chosen as the Most Popular athlete of the Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010. He was chosen through a competition conducted by Games tabloid Village News based on a survey of athletes including that of international delegates.
Sushil Kumar was born into a Hindu Jat family of Solanki Gotra, tracing roots from Haryana and hails from the village Baprola in Delhi. Kumar's father Diwan Singh Solanki was an MTNL 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. He is a vegetarian.
Kumar is presently employed by the Indian Railways as a Assistant Commercial Manager.
Solanki 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 (wrestler) and then at the Indian Railways camp by coach Gyan Singh, Sushil endured tough training conditions which included sharing a mattress with a fellow wrestler and sharing a dormitory with twenty others.at the age of 18 he become State champion.
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, 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. 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 and was placed 14th.
He won Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 2005 and 2007. He ranked seventh in the 2007 World Wrestling Championships, and managed to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He followed this up with a Bronze in the Asian Wrestling Championships, before heading for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
2010: World Wrestling Championships, Moscow - At the 2010 World Wrestling Championships Kumar became the first Indian to win a world title in wrestling. He beat the local favourite Alan Gogaev of Russia 3–1 in the finals in the 66 kg category.
2010: Commonwealth Games, Delhi - Kumar won gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi on 10 October 2010. He beat Heinrich Barnes 7–0 in the finals in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category. The bout was stopped by the referee in the second round. Earlier, in the semifinals, Kumar defeated Famara Jarjou 3–0 within 9 seconds. In the quarterfinals, Kumar defeated Muhammad Salman 10–0 in 46 seconds.
2014: Commonwealth Games, Glasgow - Kumar defeated Qamar Abbas in the 74 kg final to win the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He won in 107 seconds by fall.
2018: Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia - Kumar won gold in 74 kg category on 12th April 2018, Thursday, beating South Africa’s Johannes Botha in the final that lasted 80 seconds.
- Arjuna Award-2006 : Sushil Kumar was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2006,
- Khel Ratna in 2009, and
- Padma Shri in 2011.
"He looks so frail. I hope he doesn't get sick. When he called after reaching Beijing, he told us the food they had didn't suit him. He wanted his dal sabzi, he said he could not stand the non-veg food on display and was missing his vegetarian meals. But that didn't stop him from winning, did it?" laughed friend Kuldeep Sherawat, who, too, is a wrestler.
Makki di roti, dal, sabzi, doodh, ghee, fruits and badam for breakfast, lunch and dinner is what powered Sushil on his way to the Olympics.
What better advertisement for vegetarian power could the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) have hoped for.
But unlike its existing pin-up boy John Abraham, Sushil Kumar might not have time for a shoot. The 25-year-old barely finds the time to go home to Najafgarh, the rural Delhi suburb that exploded in joy today as he became only the second Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal, after Khasaba Jadhav in Helsinki 1952.
Sushil visits his family at their three-storey home in Baprola village for at best a few days in a year. The rest of the time, home for him is a small hostel room at Chatrasal Stadium, 20km away.
"He knew at a very young age that wrestling was his calling. I remember threatening him with dire consequences if he didn't study, but it was practice that he was interested in," mother Kamala Devi said proudly.
"We were happy the way Sushil was playing, but suddenly when he lost the first bout I got disappointed. We started crying, but then news came that hopes for bronze were still alive," PTI quoted her as saying. "I wish every mother gets a son like Sushil."
Grandmother Gyano Devi, 87, was teary-eyed as she recalled the day a 12-year-old Sushil bullied his grandfather to take him to a nearby akhara to watch mud-wrestling.
"His grandfather would have been the happiest person in the country today if he were alive. I knew he would win. His grandfather' s dream has finally come true today," she said softly. His grandfather died four months ago.
But father Diwan Singh, an MTNL driver, has more dreams. "The villagers hope he will get them gold in the Commonwealth Games. He promised us gold this time too, we are a little disappointed, but everyone must remember that he has done it on his own.
"He had no one except me to help him. The government should realise there are sports other than cricket in this country," said the man who had taken loans to spend Rs 7,000 on his son's training when he started out. His salary then was Rs 2,000.
The Commonwealth Games are on Sushil's mother's mind, too, but for another reason. "I am going to get him a bride after the 2010 Games," she laughed. "I have rejected quite a few offers, but now he is a super-eligible bachelor."
In the passage outside the house, villagers beat drums and danced and distributed sweets, celebrating the arrival of a new hero. And the hundreds of commuters stuck in the jam in Najafgarh, also home to cricketer Virender Sehwag, did not seem to mind.
The family did not forget to thank Sushil's trainer Satpal and three other coaches, Charan Das, Ram Phade and Yashbir. "They really supported Sushil and have a big role in helping my son to this glory," Kamala Devi said.
Wins gold in World Wrestling Championship
Olympic Bronze Medalist Wrestler Sushil Kumar created history by winning the maiden Gold Medal for the country in the World Wrestling Championship in Moscow on Sunday.
Sushil outwitted Russian grappler Gogaev Alan 3-1 to win the final bout.
According to international body's website (FILA), Sushil clinched two crucial points in the first period while his opponent managed only one.
Sushil kept the pressure on Russia's Gogaev and picked one more point in the second period to clinch the coveted Gold Medal.
Engagement and Marriage
ओलंपिक और विश्व कुश्ती में बड़े-बड़े सूरमाओं को धूल चटाने वाले भारत के नंबर एक पहलवान सुशील कुमार सोमवार को ऐसे बंधन में बंध गए, जिससे बाहर निकलना अब उनके बस की बात नहीं होगी। सुशील की रिंग सेरेमनी उनके कोच महाबली सतपाल की बेटी सावी के साथ यहां विधि-विधान के साथ हुई। इन दोनों की शादी 18 फरवरी को होगी। राष्ट्रमंडल खेलों की कुश्ती स्पर्धा में जिस तरह अचानक पहंुच कर कांग्रेस के युवा नेता राहुल गांधी ने सबको चौंका दिया था, उसी तरह आज भी वे अपने कुश्ती प्रेम को प्रदर्शित करते हुए सुशील और सावी को बधाई देने के लिए यहां पांच सितारा होटल पहुंचे और खिलाडि़यों से मिले। सगाई के बाद सुशील ने कहा, मैंने गुरु के आदेश का पालन किया है। गुरु ने मुझे इस सम्मान के लायक समझा, मेरे लिए इससे बड़ा आशीर्वाद और क्या हो सकता है। सावी जैसी जीवन संगिनी पाकर मैं काफी खुश हूं। उन्होंने कहा, मैंने विश्व चैंपियनशिप सावी से शादी की बात होने के बाद जीती है। इससे साफ है कि लेडी लक मेरे साथ काम कर रहा है। यही कारण था कि राष्ट्रमंडल खेलों के दौरान कंधे और गर्दन पर चोट होने के बावजूद मैंने स्वर्ण पदक पर कब्जा किया। सुशील ने कहा कि सावी से उनकी बातचीत सगाई पक्की होने के बाद ही शुरू हुई है। उन्होंने कहा, इससे पहले तो हमने गुरु के अलावा उनके परिवार के किसी सदस्य से बात तक नहीं की। सुशील ने कहा, इससे (शादी) मेरी खेल की तैयारियों पर कोई असर नहीं पड़ेगा। आज भी मेरा लक्ष्य लंदन ओलंपिक में स्वर्ण पदक जीतना है और मैं अपना लक्ष्य हासिल करके ही रहूंगा। महाबली सतपाल ने कहा,एक पिता के लिए इससे बड़ी बात क्या होगी कि उसका दामाद उसी का शिष्य है और विश्व चैंपियन पहलवान है। सुशील के पिता दीवान सिंह ने कहा,सुशील की शादी का इरादा बहुत पहले नहीं किया था हालांकि दोनों परिवार एक दूसरे को बहुत लंबे समय से जानते हैं। पूरा परिवार खुश है। टेनिस खेल को सर्वश्रेष्ठ बताने वाली सावी ने अपनी खुशी का इजहार करते हुए कहा, अब मैं टेनिस के अलावा कुश्ती खेल को भी पसंद करने लगी हूं। इस अवसर पर पूर्व कप्तान कपिल देव, हरियाणा के मुख्यमंत्री भूपेंद्र सिंह हुड्डा, भारतीय जनता पार्टी के पूर्व अध्यक्ष राजनाथ सिंह, कांग्रेस नेता आस्कर फर्नांडिज के अलावा अनेक खेल अधिकारी और पहलवान उपस्थित थे।
- Times of India 12 September 2010
- Listen NDTV Video
- Rewards pour in for Sushil Kumar - The Hindu News Update Service | Wednesday, August 20, 2008 : 2055 Hrs
- An article on Indian Style Wrestling with photos
- CWG gold medalist Sushil Kumar most popular athlete in Village, PTI 14 October 2010
- Olympics: Wrestler Sushil Kumar wins bronze medal - Economic Times | Aug 20, 2008, 02.55pm IST
- PM shower praise on Sushil - Economic Times | PTI - Aug 20, 2008, 10.03 pm IST
- Vice-President Ansari congratulates Sushil - Economic Times | PTI - Aug 20, 2008, 08.51 pm IST
- Deccan Herald - Sushil Kumar created history, wins bronze | Wednesday, August 20, 2008
- Sushil Kumar finally qualifies for London Olympics : Run up to the Olympics News - India Today | New Delhi, April 27, 2012
- Deccan Herald - Sushil finally qualifies for London Olympics | Friday, 27 April 2012
- Mary Kom, Vijender and Sushil get Khel Ratna - The Hindu news update Service | Wednesday, July 29, 2009 : 1730 Hrs
- The Hindu : Sport / Other Sports : Padma Shri for Laxman, Sushil Kumar | New Delhi, January 25, 2011