Sumit Kumar provided a silver finish for the host as he fought bravely against Yadollah Mohammadkazem Mohebi of Iran before being beaten 6-2 in the final of the 125 kg freestyle class of the Asian Wrestling Championships at the KD Jadhav arena of the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium Complex here on Sunday.
Incidentally, it was the only medal of the day for India, which wound up with a gold, five silver and four bronze medals in the championship.
Bajrang Punia had clinched the
lone gold for the host on Saturday, and the Indian women had asserted their efficiency with Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Divya Kakran and Sarita
accounting for the other silver medals.
Of course, for the die hard fans of India, who long to hear the national anthem in the sports meets, it was played at the conclusion of the championship.
For the few fans on the stands, who were out-cheered by the Iran fans, Sumit had raised hopes by taking a 2-1 lead, after trailing by a point initially, as he successfully caught hold of the Iranian’s legs.
However, the cheer in the stands did not last long for the host, as the Iranian swung the contest around with four points, taking the interval with a healthy 5-2 lead.
In the second session, both the wrestlers looked to be happy to pass time, and the Iranian managed to add one more point, as he emerged a deserving winner. Iran clinched the overall team championship in freestyle ahead of Japan and Uzbekistan.
Quite fittingly, the former Asian Games gold medallist and coach of double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, Satpal Singh presented the medal for Sumit, and congratulated him for his brave performance.
Sumit had opened with a 6-3 victory ver Taiki Yamamoto in the quarterfinals and had beaten Farkhod Anakulov of Tajikistan 7-2 in the semifinals.
The other Indians in the fray, Somveer was beaten by a technical fall 11-0 in the quarterfinals of the 86 kg class by Gwanuk Kim of Korea.
Vinod Kumar was also beaten by a technical fall 12-2 by Momojiro Nakamura of Japan in the quarterfinals of the 70 kg category.
Harphool started with a technical fall 11-0 victory over Divoshan Charles Fernando of Sri Lanka, but was beaten 7-5 by Rei Higuchi of Japan in the quarterfinals.
The disappointment of the climax apart, the host had done very well to assert itself as the emerging force in Asia, despite the absence of the star wrestlers.
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