India’s Greco-Roman style wrestlers began their campaign on a successful note as Gurpreet Singh (77kg) and Sunil Kumar (87kg) delivered silver medals on Saturday, the penultimate day of the Asian Wrestling Championships.
With this, India’s Greco-Roman wrestlers have done better than the last edition where they had won only a couple of bronze medals through Rajender Kumar (55kg) and Harpreet Singh (82kg).
Sunil gave his all, but passivity cost him the gold as he went down 0-2 to Iran’s mighty Hossein Ahmad Nouri, the reigning Asian Games gold medallist who has three gold from the Asian Championships.
Earlier, Sunil took care of Tokhirdzhon Okhonov of Tajikistan 14-7 in the quarter-finals and then followed it up with a win over Kazakhstan’s Azamat Kustubayev 6-6 in a ‘victory by fall’ verdict.
“I wish I were a little bit more aggressive. That could have changed the colour of the medal. I will strive to train harder and do better in the upcoming tournaments. It’s also because I had a chance to train in Kazakhstan and training with foreign partners improved my standard,” said Sunil after the medal bout.
Gurpreet brought India’s second silver medal of the day when he tasted a 0-8 defeat at the hands of South Korea’s Hyeonwoo Kim, who has 2012 Olympic gold, 2013 World Championships gold, and four Asian Championships gold medals.
Gurpreet was impressive against Qatar’s Bakhit Sharif K Badr and earned a 10-0 victory by technical superiority in the last-eight clash. Gurpreet was made to work harder in the semi-finals where he narrowly edged Tamerlan Shadukayev of Kazakhstan 6-5.
In 55kg and 63kg, however, Indian wrestlers failed to make a mark. In 55kg quarters, Manjeet lost to Kyrgyzstan’s Asan Sulaimanov 3-5, while Vikram Krushnath Kurade went down to Jinwoong Jung of South Korea 0-8 in the same round in 63kg.
The Greco-Roman wrestling competition will continue on the final day of the tournament. On Sunday, Gyanender (60kg), Ravinder (67kg), Yogesh (72kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg) and Hardeep Singh (97kg) will be in action.