They both are champions in their own right and no wonder Sushil Kumar was absolutely ecstatic in the manner his close friend Yogeshwar Dutt clinched the first gold medal for India in Asian Games wrestling in 28 years.
"The manner in which Yogesh (as he is affectionately called) won the semi-final bout against the Chinese wrestler Katai Yerlanbieke was amazing. It was probably the best I have seen him fight as he scripted an unbelievable come-from-behind win. His performance has boosted the morale of our wrestlers," Sushil told PTI on the sidelines of an event organised by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Asked to assess the overall performance of the wrestlers at the ongoing Asian Games, one of India's greatest Olympians said, "We won three medals at Gunagzhou. This time our tally has increased to five medals so far. Obviously, there has been an upswing and no one is happier than me.
"Bajrang [silver] is a very talented youngster and will only get better. I am also very happy for Narsingh [bronze] Yadav. There is a slight disappointment as we all expected gold from Amit but this is sport and this can happen. Amit will certainly come back stronger after this Asian Games. I am hopeful that our boys in Greco-Roman will also get a few medals," said the two-time Olympic medallist.
Sushil said his decision to not go to the Asian Games was because he wanted to see how a youngster can perform in his category.
"I didn't go to the Asian Games as this was a conscious plan to experiment with a youngster in my category. I am planning to make a comeback at the World Championship in the United States and also take part in the major Grand Prix events next year, so that I am fit and ready for the Rio Olympics in 2016," said Sushil.
The humblest of sportspersons that one would ever come across, Sushil was all praise for swimmer Sandeep Sejwal and gymnast Deepa Karmakar.
"A medal in swimming is a rarity and Sandeep Sejwal should be lauded for his achievement at the Asian Games. It shows we are coming up in swimming. Also I would like to congratulate young gymnast Deepa, who won a medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. These youngsters should be nurtured so that they produce better results in coming days," said Sushil.
Monday was an auspicious day for Sushil as the foundation stone of his 'High Performance' academy in Sonepat was laid.
"I believe with blessings from everyone, we will be up and running from next year. I am thankful to Haryana government for providing me with land. I am planning to rope in kids aged between 14 and 15. Because that is the age when the muscles start developing adequately and you can mould boys of that age. Hopefully, I will be able to produce champion wrestlers in future and give back to sport which has given me everything," he concluded.