Updated: September 20, 2019 1:32:09 pm
Returning to the World Championship after eight years, double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar lost his opening round bout to Azerbaijan’s Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev on Friday.
Using all his experience, the wily Indian had raced to a 9-4 lead but lost seven points in a row to lose the 74 kg qualification bout. Sushil employed a four-point throw after trailing 0-2 to take lead and further consolidated it with another four-point throw, which came from a difficult position.
The Azerbaijan camp challenged the throw but lost the call, giving one additional point to Sushil for a 9-4 lead at the break. However, the second period belonged to the Junior world bronze medallist, who first pushed Sushil out and the scored of a takedown and took the lead with a gut wrench from ground position. Time was running out but Sushil appeared to tired himself out as Gadzhiyev scored two more points with a two-point push out throw to clinch the bout.
Sushil Kumar has the heart but that’s not enough anymore. The 36- year old loses 2018 Junior World champion Khadzimurad Gadhziyev 11-9 in Rd 1 of the 74kg freestyle category. He had led 9-4 after the first period but age has taken its toll on his speed and stamina pic.twitter.com/iEktQ7tCVV
— jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) September 20, 2019
The two-time Olympic medallist will now have to wait to know his fate. If Gadzhiyev reaches the final, Sushil, will get a chance to fight for Olympic qualification as well as a bronze. Sushil is the only Indian to have won a World title when he triumphed in 2010 in Moscow. In the non-Olympic 70kg, Karan lost his Qualification round bout 0-7 to Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov.
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