World C’ships: Sumit Malik enters semifinals

The grappler defeats Inkar Yermukambet of Kazakhstan 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Representative Image: Sumit Malik made a sweet comeback, having been knocked out at the preliminary stage of the Championships last year.   -  AP

India’s Sumit Malik reached the semifinals of the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest on Saturday.

Malik, the gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, overcame Inkar Yermukambet of Kazakhstan 6-1 in the quarterfinals after defeating Japan’s Taiki Yamamoto 4-1 in the pre-quarterfinals of the 125kg category.

It was a sweet comeback for Malik, who had been knocked out at the preliminary stage of the competition last year. Malik had returned empty-handed from the Asian Games in Jakarta this year.

Meanwhile, Sonba Tanaji Gogane was outclassed by reigning European champion Rashidov Gadzhimurad in the men’s freestyle quarterfinals. Gogane made a stupendous start by winning two bouts but was outwitted by Rashidov in the 61kg quarterfinals.

Early lead

Gogane faced a tough opponent; he was up against last year’s World Championship silver medallist and two-time European champion. He started aggressively but Rashidov’s stoic defence meant that the Indian was forced to slow down. The Russian got on board with a take-down and then opened up a 4-0 lead with an expose. It pegged the Indian back. The Russian further consolidated his lead with a leg hold and by the end of period one, he was leading 6-0.

With 40 seconds to go in the bout, Rashidov stunned Gogane by lifting him on his shoulder. The Russian pulled the Indian down for a four-point move, ending the bout in his favour with almost half-a-minute to go.

Gogane had beaten Andrei Bekrenu 4-3 and Lowe Bingham (10-0) in the qualification rounds. It remains to be seen if the Indian gets a repechage round.

Jitender, Pawan bow out

For Jitender, though, who had replaced Sushil Kumar in the Indian squad, it was all over. He lost his pre-quarterfinal bout 6-3 to Slovakia’s Akhsarbek Gulaev in the 74kg category.

Pawan Kumar, too, faded. Contesting the 86kg category, he could not go beyond the qualification round. He losing 6-0 to Ukraine’s Mraz Dzhafarian.