Testing time for Sushil's new technique: Coach
New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Top Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar's coach Yashvir Singh feels it is still too early ring alarm bells over the grappler's form and hoped the 2008 Beijing Games bronze medallist's newly adopted technique will come good in the remaining two qualifying events for the London Olympics.
Sushil underwent a change in style during a month-long training camp in January at the US Olympic Centre in Colorado Springs. Though he won the gold medal in the Dave Schultz Memorial International Wrestling Tournament in Colorado Springs, he missed an Olympic berth after losing in the semifinals of the Asian qualifying event in Astana, Kazakhstan last week.
Yashvor told IANS Monday that it would have been better if Sushil had taken part in few competitive tournaments, where he could have tested his new technique, before the qualifier.
Asked if it was right to change technique with six months left for the Olympics, Yashvir said: "It was needed because other international wrestlers were finding him out easily. There is no harm in changing technique in an Olympic calendar year because he had 5-6 months in hand."
Yashvir said Sushil fought well in Astana and was unlucky to miss an Olympic berth. The finalists in Astana qualified for the mega event. The next qualifying tournaments for India are in China (April 27-29) and Finland (May 4-6).
"He has adopted his new style well and was fighting well. But in the third round of the semi-final bout (against Kazakhstan's Akzhurek Tanatarov) he was not given a valid point. We saw videos of the match and found that the referee erred in his decision that proved costly for Sushil," said Yashvir.
Yashvir said Sushil took some time to settle down with his new technique.
"He has now adopted a close. It is a mix of both close and open stance, which is now being followed by all the top wrestlers in Europe. Sushil has also worked on his defence and counterattack. He has worked hard on how to gain maximum points from counterattack," he said.
Yashir said Sushil has also improved his ground wrestling skills.
"There has been a great improvement in his ground fighting skills and he has also worked on off the ground (standing position) techniques. I am confident he will surely book his berth in the next qualifying tournament," he said.
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