New Delhi: Anil Kumar and Jyoti provided India two bronze medals with contrasting performances in their respective weight categories on the second day of the Asian Wrestling Championship, at New Delhi on Thursday.
While Anil registered a thrilling come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Uzbekistan’s Muhammadali Shamsiddinov to clinch the bronze medal in the Greco-Roman 85kg category, Jyoti (women’s 75kg) won the bronze after she lost in the semifinal to Japan’s Masako Furuichi, as the Japanese girl made it to the gold medal round.
Anil fought hard to climb up the podium on the day when India bagged two medals out of five outings.
Having entered the bronze medal play-off after his opponent, who defeated him in the quarterfinal match, made the gold medal round, Anil showed fabulous skills and technique to finish third.
Lagging behind 1-6 and being pinned down by his Uzbekistan rival during the bronze medal bout, Anil did extremely well to not just release himself from his opponent’s grip of his opponent but also managed to take him down to earn two points.
With those two points he narrowed down the gap to 3-6. After that there was hardly any looking back for the 29-year- old Indian, who pinned down the Uzbek grappler twice to bag four successive points and in the end wrapped up the match in style by a solitary point.
“I just wanted to come out of that position when I was down on the mat and with the help of my coaches who were guiding me, I could turn the table around,” Anil, hailing from Sonepat, said.
This was the first time Anil was competing in the Asian Championship and he managed to win a medal in his maiden attempt.
“I am really very happy and proud to give my country a medal. The crowd really motivated me to turn the tide in my favour. It was really nice to get the home support,” said Anil, 2013 Commonwealth Wealth Championship silver medallist.
Earlier, Jyoti, despite losing her semifinal bout to Furuichi 0-10, could bag the bronze medal as there were less number of wrestlers in her weight division and had no opponent to fight in the repechage round.
She had earlier won the qualification round by outplaying Seoyeon Jeong of Korea 5-1.
Ritu fought hard in the bronze medal play-off match in women’s 63kg division but missed out on the podium by a whisker, going down 1-1 against Jinyoung Hang of Korea.
In a closely-fought encounter, Ritu earned the first point but since her rival managed to win a point later, she was declared the winner.
In Greco-Roman 71kg, Deepak also failed to get another bronze for the country as he went down to Nurgazy Asangulov of Kyrgyzstan 1-8 in a one-sided contest.
The Indian tried hard but proved to be no match for his rival from Kyrgyzstan, who led 3-1 after the first half and then sealed it the contest comfortably in the end.
Deepak had earlier lost his quarterfinal bout to Iran’s Afshin Nemat Byabangard 1-3 but still made it to the bronze medal play-off as the Iranian reached the gold medal round.
Anil had also faced a similar fate during the quarterfinals of 85kg, going down to Japan’s Atsushi Matsumoto 0-7, but was fortunate to enter the bronze medal round after the Japanese grappler ensured a place in the gold medal round.
Ritu had defeated Min-Wen Hou of Taipei 5-4 to storm into the semifinal but subsequently lost to Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia 2-12 by fall verdict in the initial rounds.
The other Greco-Roman Indian wrestler in the fray today, Gyanender (59kg) bowed out of the competition after losing his bout early.
Gyanender lost in the qualification round itself when he was comprehensively beaten by Kaly Sulaimanov of Kazakhstan 1-5.