New Delhi : With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games just under a month away, Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt feels that the Indian grapplers will put up a strong show and has the potential to win medals in all the 12 categories.
The Indian wrestlers have always been impressive in international events and Yogeshwar reckons that the wrestling contingent will once again be on top of their game and emerge glorious at the upcoming quadrennial games.
“India is always considered as a wrestling powerhouse and I am quite sure India will win medals in all the 12 categories including 8-9 gold medals,” Yogeshwar said during the recently-concluded Indian Sports Award 2022.
Yogeshwar, a bronze medallist at the 2012 London Olympics and two times CWG champion in 2010 and 2014, believes that the Pro Wrestling League also has played a pivotal role in the development of wrestlers in the country and has been a great value-add to the sport in the country.
“Pro Wrestling League has been beneficial for creating a wrestling ecosystem in the country. Not everyone gets a chance to play at the international level at the beginning of their career and PWL has provided them just a similar kind of experience.
“Rubbing shoulders against the top international players including Olympic and world champions and sharing the dressing room with the stalwarts was a big exposure for them and I want the league to start again soon as this will help a lot in preparing players for international level,” Yogeshwar added.
The Khel Ratna awardee from Sonipat believes that the Commonwealth Games this year will be a special affair as fans will be allowed in the stadiums, unlike Tokyo Olympics which was held behind closed doors.
“It feels very lonely out there in the middle without the presence of fans and well-wishers as there is no one to cheer and motivate the athlete. It was the same for all the sports due to Covid-19 restrictions but with fans being allowed back it is great for us,” said the wrestler-turned coach.
“There is no fun to play in front of an empty stadium as whether we win or lose, the support from the fans in the stadium helps us a lot in recovering from the setback,” he signed off.
The Birmingham CWG begins on July 28 and the wrestling competition is scheduled to be conducted on August 5th and 6th.