Anil Kumar bags a brave bronze at Asian Wrestling C’ship

Anil Kumar provided a lot to cheer for the Indian camp, albeit with a bronze medal in the men’s 85 kg Greco Roman section, on the second day of the Asian Wrestling Championship.

Anil Kumar put up a courageous performance as he wriggled out of his opponent’s grasp, twice from almost being pinned, and bounced back from a difficult position when he trailed 1-6 to win 7-6 against Muhammadali Shamsiddinov of Uzbekistan.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

Anil Kumar provided a lot to cheer for the Indian camp, albeit with a bronze medal in the men’s 85 kg Greco Roman section, on the second day of the Asian Wrestling Championship at the KD Jadhav arena of the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex here on Thursday.

The strongly built 29-year-old from Air Force, Anil Kumar put up a courageous performance as he wriggled out of his opponent’s grasp, twice from almost being pinned, and bounced back from a difficult position when he trailed 1-6 to win 7-6 against Muhammadali Shamsiddinov of Uzbekistan.

Deftly utilising the Uzbek’s attempts to bring him down, Anil Kumar grabbed points swiftly in the last two minutes to turn the tide in his favour. it was the first Asian medal for Anil Kumar, who hails from Sonepat. He had won the silver in the Commonwealth Championship in 2013.

The sparse crowd came alive, with vociferous support, to back the Indian lad for a brilliant climax. Anil Kumar was proudly sharpening his mousttache after ensuring the medal, to assert his physical valour.

It was indeed a fine recovery as Anil Kumar had lost to the eventual silver medallist Atsushi Matsumoto of Japan 0-7 in the quarterfinals.

He showed remarkable courage in beating the semifinalist Uzbek for the eventual bronze.

The other medal for India was confirmed in the morning session itself, in the 75 kg women’s section, by Jyothi. She won the preliminary bout against the Korean Seoyeon Jeong 5-1. After she lost the semifinals to Masako Furuichi of Japan, Jyothi had the bronze confirmed as she had none to fight in the repechage, in a small field of seven wrestlers.

There was no such luck for Ritu in the women’s 63 kg section, as she lost the bronze medal bout after being tied on 1-1 against Jinyoung Hang of Korea. In an intense battle, when the two showed strong defence, the Korean had won the last point into the fifth minute which proved decisive.

In fact, Ritu was unlucky mainly because she was awarded two points that were reverted once the protest of the Korean was upheld. Ritu had the score board showing 4-1 in her favour, as the operator had mistakenly added one more point for her, giving the impression that the Korean’s protest was dismissed. The mistake was corrected

instantly, but Ritu could not find a way to win the close bout. Together with Harpreet’s medal on the opening day, the Indian camp had done well to take its tally to three bronze medals.

Ritu had lost the semifnal to the eventual gold medallist Battsetseng Soronzonbold of Mongolia 2-12 in the semifinals, after having won the quarterfinal against Min-Wen Hou of Chinese Taipei 5-4.

Among the two other Indians in the fray, Deepak was outclassed in the 71 kg section, as Nungazy Asangulov of Kyrgyzstan beat him by a technical fall at 8-0 in the bronze match. Deepak had lost 1-3 to the

eventual medallist Afshin Nemat Byabangard of Iran in the quarterfinals.

Gyanender was beaten 5-1 by Kaly Sulaimanov of Kyrgyzstan in the 59 kg section. He was the only Indian in the day, not to give himself a chance to fight for a medal.

The competition is expected to gain momentum on Friday, when the Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik takes the mat in the women’s 60 kg section, after having won the selection trials in the 58 kg class.

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