India's Olympic moments: Sushil wins bronze

In the countdown to the 2012 London Olympics, we retrace some memorable Indian moments at the historical games. Today, a look at Sushil Kumar's wrestling bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In the summer of 2008, Sushil Kumar became a household name in India following his stupendous show at the Beijing Games where he became only the second Indian to win an Olympic wrestling bronze after KD Jadhav in Helsinki in 1952.


Son of a driver, Sushil Kumar not only realised the dream his father once harboured but also put Boprala on wrestling map of the world by winning a Olympic bronze medal.

Sushil - who tasted his first success when he won the gold medal at the World Cadet Games in 1998 - had made his Olympics debut four years prior in Athens 2004, where he finished 14th in the 60 kilograms category. In Beijing, he entered in the 66kg category.

He lost to Andriy Stadnik from Ukraine in the first round, leaving his medal hopes hinging on the repechage. Kumar defeated American Doug Schwab in the first repechage round and Belarusian Albert Batyrov in the second repechage round, before beating Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhstan to win the bronze.

He followed up with gold medals at the Wrestling World Championships, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2010. He was subsequently awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna prize by the government for his outstanding achievements in sport.

Sushil defeated Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhstan 3:1. This was the first time in 56 years an Indian had managed to win a medal in wrestling. He continued his exploits with a gold medal in 2010 World Wrestling Championship in Moscow.

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