Head and shoulders above the competition

  • Siddhanth Aney, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Oct 11, 2010 00:26 IST

If there is a superstar in Indian wrestling, it is Sushil Kumar. In 2010 alone, he has won the top prize at the Asian championships, world championships, and on Sunday at the KD Jadhav arena, he blitzed past his opponents to add the Commonwealth gold feather to his already overflowing cap.

Which is not to say he is satisfied. Immediately after his final win, he said, “Bhai, kal ki chhutti lunga ya nahin, yeh bol nahin sakta. Par uske baad focus Asian Games par (I might take one day off, but then it will be back to training, with the focus on the Asian Games).

On Sunday, a record crowd filled the arena. The prospect of men wearing spandex and battling each other, altogether too rare and too exciting for the Delhi crowd to pass up.

Not that they got to see too much of the man himself.

In his semifinal against Famara Jarou of The Gambia, Sushil had his opponent pinned in 9 seconds, with the very first move of the match.

In the first round of the final, his opponent Heinrich Barnes (South Africa) did well to get out of the champion’s holds.

In the second though, Sushil bagged a couple of early points before going in for the kill. Barnes fought hard, and Sushil had to pin him for almost 30 seconds before the referee decided he had seen enough.

The golden boy had won every bout by fall.

“Sushil has the potential to be the greatest and most successful wrestler in the history of this country. We have a great wrestling tradition, but he can rewrite the history books. He trains harder than any wrestler I have known and these results are the fruit of his labour,” Satpal, Sushil’s guru, told Hindustan Times.

Pakistan win two

Pakistani wrestlers Azhar Hussain and Muhammad Inam won golds on Sunday.

Azhar added the gold to his silver in the Greco-Roman competition, having earlier beaten Anil Kumar in a tight quarterfinal.

Inam was up against India’s Anuj Kumar in the heavyweight division, and though Anuj took the first round 3-2, the Pakistani took the second round 1-0. The bout went down to a tie-breaker. The luck of the draw went against Anuj and his failure to counterattack lost him the top prize.


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