Commonwealth Games: Who is Indian judo player Sushila Devi?
India's Sushila Devi Likmabam bagged the silver medal in the women's judo 48kg final at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) on Monday. Sushila lost to South Africa's Michaela Whitebooi to settle for silver. The Indian had defeated Harriet Bonface in the quarterfinal and Priscilla Morand in the semis to assure India its seventh medal in Birmingham. Here, we decode her journey.
Sushila fell short as Whitebooi won the bout in the golden score period at the Coventry Arena. An error cost the Indian the coveted CWG gold medal. Notably, Sushila competed with stitches on her knee. Notwithstanding, she was courageous to play the final against the South African. In the semi-final, Sushila thrashed Priscilla Morand of Mauritia 10-0.
Sushila is now India's most successful Indian judoka at the Commonwealth Games. She is the first-ever Indian to win two medals at CWG, having bagged her first (silver) at the 2014 CWG in Glasgow as a 19-year-old (same category). Besides, Sushila has become the third Indian to win a silver medal in the ongoing competition after weightlifters Sanket Sargar and Bindyarani Devi.
Sushila hails from Manipur in India. Her uncle, Likmabam Dinit, who has represented India in judo, took Sushila to the Khuman Lampak Stadium in December 2002. Sushila started training there at a very young age. In the years to come, she also trained under Sabitri Chanu of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Special Area Games (SAG) Khuman Lampak.
Besides winning two CWG silver medals, Sushila clinched gold at the South Asian Games in 2019. She won the final in the women's 48 Kg weight class. Sushila qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics as the only representative for India in judo. Sushila, who competed in the women's 48 kg event, was eliminated in the first round.