New Delhi: India’s Olympic medal winning wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt returned home late Monday night to a hero’s welcome as hordes of supporters, including young grapplers from nearby akhadas, turned up at the international airport making it a carnival like atmosphere.
As soon as the duo walked out of the arrival lounge, celebrations broke out as drums started to beat and fireworks lit up the sky.
Sushil and Yogeshwar were surprised to see their life-sized cut-outs, and within moments they were carried on the shoulders of their supporters.
With garlands round their neck, Sushil and Yogeshwar were dazed with the grand reception.
Shouts of “Sushil, Yogeshwar ki jay” reverberated in the air. The duo were taken on a well-decorated open truck to the Palam temple.
Even before the flight from London landed, a huge crowd had gathered at the arrival terminus, reminiscent of scenes four years ago when Sushil arrived from Beijing with a bronze medal.
But this time, exploits of Sushil and Yogeshwar at the 2012 London Games called for special celebrations.
Sushil, who won the silver medal, became India’s only individual back-to-back Olympic medallist while his friend of 15 years Yogeshwar bagged a bronze medal.
It seemed as if the whole of Chattarsal and Baprola village, from where Sushil hails, was at the international airport to celebrate Indian wrestling’s success at the Games.
Sushil’s wife Savi, his father-in-law Satpal Singh, former Asian Games gold medallist, his coach Yashvir Singh, national coach Vinod Kumar and Raj Singh, general secretary of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), also arrived with the champion wrestlers.