In a historic event, Indian wrestler Sunil Kumar defeated Azat Salidinov of Kyrgyzstan by 5-0 in the 87kg summit contest to claim India’s first Greco-Roman gold medal in Asian Wrestling Championships.
Ending India’s 27-year-old gold quest
Ending India’s 27-year-old gold quest, the man from Najafgarh Delhi opened India’s medal account in the Asian Wrestling Championship at New Delhi. The 36-year-old beat Kyrgyzstan wrestler Azat Salidinov in the final of the 87 kg category.
Sunil Kumar had qualified for the final when he defeated Kazakh opponent Azamat Kustubayev to finish the semi-final bout 12-8.
“I believe that I am fortunate to have won India’s first gold medal today. I have worked hard on my ground techniques and it feels good to have done better than my last year’s performance,” Sunil said addressing media.
A bronze for India
Another Indian named Arjun Halakurki had won a bronze in Greco-Roman 55kg. It is his first medal at his maiden senior international event. The young wrestler started the contest gradually and was falling behind by 1-4 in the first session with Iran’s Pouya Mohammad Naserpour.
Nevertheless, he got back strong and snatched six straight points with a combination of good defense and tackle.
However, Arjun lost the match to 7-8 and had to settle for the third place. He had defeated Donghyeok Won of Korea 7-4 to claim a bronze medal.