NAGPUR: Contrary to the opinion voiced by some Indian sports persons regarding sporting relations with Pakistan to be stopped, Sushil Kumar said sports activities should not be affected as ‘it unites all’.
“I strongly condemn Pulwama attack. I salute the soldiers and their families. I want to tell them that country is united and we are proud of them. However, I think sports should not be affected with this development. Sporting ties with nations help in connectivity. Sport unites all and should be encouraged,” said Sushil on Wednesday.
The two-time Olympic medal winner was here to inaugurate the Inter-College Sports Meet Udaan 19.0, organized by the Priyadarshini Group of Institutions, at their campus off Hingna Road.
A couple of days ago, former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh said India should not play Pakistan in the forthcoming World Cup in the aftermath of the ghastly terror attack in Pulwama.
Harbhajan’s statement came after the terror attack in Pulwama which killed around 40 CRPF personnel. Pak-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the ghastly act.
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, called for praying for peace instead of spreading hate. Sushil also appealed people not to spread anger in this tense situation.
About his Tokyo Olympics preparations, Sushil said he has been working hard with his coach Satpal Singh to bring another Olympic medal for India.
“I won bronze (Bejing, 2008) and silver (London, 2012). I now want gold in Tokyo 2020. Preparations are going very well and I am on right track to grab that elusive gold medal. It is my ultimate wish. When I won bronze medal for the first time in London eleven years ago, I really didn’t know much about Olympics. Now, I know the importance of it,” said Sushil.
The 35-year-old praised the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) which has been going on in India for last four years.
“The most positive thing about PWL is that it is changing the mindset of Indian wrestlers. They are thinking differently and believing that they too can reach the top by rubbing the shoulders with the best in business. It is not only helping the Indian wrestlers to get money it is also boosting their confidence a great deal,” said Sushil, who has been bestowed with Arjuna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri.
He also acknowledged the support of government and sports ministry in lifting the sports in a big way with the introduction of grass-root sports movement Khelo India.
“I think Khelo India has been a very good initiative. If this continues in future regularly, we can expect more number of medals in all the sports disciplines. If the talent is groomed properly I am sure India will excel in all the major sporting events like Olympics and Commonwealth Games,” said Sushil.
Source: Times of India