Kalmadi praises Sushil Kumar's historic feat

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Beijing, Aug 20 (UNI) Congratulating Sushil Kumar for winning India's first wrestling medal at the Olympics after 56 years, IOA president Suresh Kalmadi today said the victory will give a filip to Olympic sports in the country ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

''I congratulate Sushil for this wonderful victory. He has really done the country proud. This is a really historic occasion. We will arrange for a grand welcome when he returns home to India,'' Kalmadi said after the bout.

''This victory will give a huge boost to Olympic sports in the country before the Commonwealth Games. Wrestling has now emerged as a major medal prospect for the Commonwealth Games,'' he added.

''We are doing well in all the events that are a part of the Commonwealth Games.'' Sushil Kumar defeated Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhtan in the bronze medal play-off for the 66kg category of the Olympic freestyle competition to hand India its first Olympic medal in wrestling after Kasaba Jhadav in 1952.

''This is turning out to be one of the most successful Olympic campaigns for India. We have already got one gold in shooting and now a medal in wrestling. We have two boxers coming up this evening and we are hoping that they will also do well,'' Kalmadi stated.

When asked about India's medal chances in boxing Kalmadi said, ''I have met both Jitender and Vijender today. Both of them looked extremely confident and I am confident too that they will do well.'' UNI HSB AB AS1609

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