On a memorable day for India at the Asian Wrestling Championship, three of the five Greco Roman wrestlers in action, including Sunil Kumar, won bronze medals, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Tuesday.
This is the second time that Sunil has earned a podium finish at the Asian Championship, having won the 87kg title in the 2020 edition, while also finishing as the runner-up in the 2019 edition.
The 23-year-old opened up a huge 5-0 lead early in his bronze medal bout against Mongolia’s Batbayar Lutbayar and eventually won by technical superiority.
This was after he lost the semifinal by technical superiority to Uzbekistan’s Jalgasbay Berdimuratov, with Berdimuratov going on to lose to Naser Ghasem Alizadeh of Iran in the final. Sunil had started with a 5-3 win over Japan’s Masato Sumi in the quarterfinal.
In the 55kg category, Arjun Halakurki defeated Davaabandi Munkh Erdene of Mongolia 10-7 in the bronze play-off. Earlier, Arjun qualified for the quarterfinal with a 10-5 win over Ali Naser Nourbakhsh of Iran, before losing said quarterfinal to eventual silver medalist, Kazakhstan’s Amangali Bekbolatov by a 10-1 scoreline.
Arjun had also won a bronze at the 2020 edition of the event.
In the 63kg category, Neeraj got the better of Uzbekistan’s Islomjon Bakhramov 7-4 to earn a podium finish. He had reached the play-off after losing his quarterfinal to eventual champion Tynar Sharshenbekov from Kyrgyzstan.
In the 77 kg category, Sajan Bhanwal missed out on a bronze when he was outplayed by Japan’s Kodai Sakuraba, losing 11-1.
Prem Kumar bowed out after losing his opening 130kg qualification bout 0-5 to Iran’s Amir Mohammadali Ghasemimonjazi.