City anchor: 2020 big blow, Delhi wrestlers pin hopes on Rio
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In all, there are nine to 10 venues — including Chhatrasal, Bawana and Singhu — where approximately 8,000 new recruits train for their Olympic dream. Of these, 85 have already won either at the cadet level or in junior championships around the world.
With all the hard work coming to nothing (most of these trainees will mature only by the time of the 2020 Olympics) and his factory worth no more than dreams, guru Satpal is not a happy man.
"We were emerging as a powerful force in the world of wrestling. This is a black day for us, and for the sport," Satpal said. "Our wrestlers have been winning medals at all levels. If this decision stays, the kids will not come near an akhara again."
Most coaches claim that a wrestler, the good ones at least, begin peaking between the ages of 25 and 30. Sushil was 26 in Beijing and Yogeshwar 29 at London. In 2020, Kumar will be 26 and with the experience of two Olympics under his belt. He would have been ripe for glory.
Apparently hurt, Kumar worries for the generation after him.
"Humne to ek Olympics khel liya. Shayad agla bhi khelein. (I have already participated in one. And might in another). What will happen to the children who have taken up the sport recently with dreams of Sushil and Yogeshwar?"