Battler Amit clinches silver in Budapest

Young Indian bows to Iran's Rahimi in the final of the 55kg category after storming through early rounds
Last Updated 16 September 2013, 19:41 IST

Asian Champion Amit Kumar won a silver medal for India in the 55kg category on the opening day of World Wrestling Championships here on Monday.

Amit lost to Hassan Farman Rahimi of Iran 1-2 in the final at the Laszlo Papp Sports Arena here. The 19-year-old fought well and led initially after Rahimi received a caution.

The Iranian then pushed Amit out of bounds to level scores and then Amit received a warning, putting his opponent 2-1 ahead. Rahimi hung on to that lead to emerge champion.

India’s previous medal in the men’s section had come in 2010 when Sushil Kumar had grabbed the gold.

After London Olympics silver medallist Sushil failed to take the mat due to fitness issues, Amit brought cheers to the Indian camp when he got the better off Sezar Akgul of Turkey in the semifinals.

Arun Kumar (66kg) and Satyawart Kadian (96kg) failed to go the distance and crashed out of the tournament. While Sushil’s replacement in the 66kg category, Arun failed to impress and exited in the first round, world junior bronze medallist Satyawart could not cross the second hurdle.

World No 7 Amit, however, showed no mercy on his Turkish opponent as he finished the proceedings in the first period itself to set up the final bout.

Riding on his speed and agility, the pocket-sized dynamo was far too superior than Akgul as he collected four technical points. Earlier, the 20-year-old Olympian had got off to a flying start and whizzed past wrestlers from Japan, France and USA in the previous rounds.

Touted as one of medal bets in the competition, Amit first floored Japan’s Yasuhiro Inaba and followed it up with a fine win over Frenchman Zoheir El Ouarraqe.

Such was his dominance that Amit overpowered both his opponents in the first period of the two three-minute rounds and won through technical fall (securing 7 or more points than his opponent).

In the quarterfinal too, Amit did not relax and breezed past USA’s Angel Alesmo Escobedo, winning through a fall.

Earlier, Satyawart began on a resounding note as he battered Sri Lanka’s Madasing Achchillage Gamini and registered a win by technical fall in the opening minutes of the bout.

In the next round, Nicolai Ceban of Moldavie proved to be technically superior than Satyawart.

Arun surrendered to Levan Kelekhsashvili of Georgia, getting overpowered in the first period itself. The 22-year-old did not pose any challenge to his opponent and failed to collect even a single point.

There was uncertainty over Sushil’s participation in the competition but the two time Olympic medal winner had maintained he will compete subject to his fitness. As it turned out, Sushil wasn’t fit enough to enter the contest.

The wrestler hadn’t taken part in any competition since London last year due to a shoulder injury.

Indian senior team is taking part its first competition under the new rules introduced by the sport governing body (FILA) in May.

(Published 16 September 2013, 19:39 IST)

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