Sunil Kumar ended India's 27 years of gold medal drought in the Greco-Roman category in the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi, as he overpowered Azat Salidinov of Kyrgyzstan 5-0 in the 87 kg summit bout on February 18. Before Sunil, Pappu Yadav had won a gold medal for India in the 48kg Greco-Roman title in 1993. Sunil with his comprehensive defence, was able to keep Salidinov at bay for the most part of the bout. Salidinov did not have any answer to the Indian's strategy and finally went down pretty easily.
Earlier, Sunil made an impressive comeback in his semi-final bout to reach the final. He was down 1-8 against his Kazakh opponent Azamat Kustubayev but made a great comeback, grabbing 11 points on the trot to win the bout 12-8. In 2019 also, Kumar had made it to the final and ended with a silver medal.
Before Sunil's historic gold medal, Arjun Halakurki (55kg) won a bronze by defeating Donghyeok Won of Korea 7-4. Arjun started the bout slowly and was down 1-4 in the first period. But, the Indian did not give up and came back strongly, snatching six straight points with a combination of good defence and attack. Arjun lost his semi-final bout against Iran's Pouya Mohammad Naserpour earlier in the day.
India's third medal hope Mehar Singh (130kg), however, narrowly lost his bronze medal bout against Roman Kim of Kyrgyzstan 2-3. Mehar was feeling the after-effects of his wrist injury which he suffered in his semifinal bout. In the semifinals, Mehar went down 1-9 to Minseok Kim of Korea. Read More...
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