Indian wrestling, which touched a high at the London Olympics, continues to make waves. Amit Kumar, who at 18 was the youngest in the wrestling competition at the Olympics, had made it to the quarterfinals.
A year on, the Asian champion from Sonepat gave India its first medal by winning silver on the opening day of the world championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Monday.
Amit, who defeated Turkey’s Sezar Akgul in the semifinals of the 55kg freestyle category, lost to Hassan Farman Rahimi of Iran in the final.
Earlier, he had defeated Angel Alesmo Escobedo of the US in the quarterfinals. Amit defeated Japan’s Yasuhiro Inaba and Zoheir El Ouarraqe of France with ease in his first two bouts.
In the absence of London Olympic medallists, Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, he is leading the Indian challenge in the world event and was considered a medal favourite.
India’s last world championships medal in the men’s section came in 2010 when Sushil Kumar grabbed the gold with a famous win over his Russian rival. At last year’s world meet, sisters Geeta and Babita both won bronze.
Among the other Indians in the fray, Arun Kumar (66kg) and Satyawart Kadian (96kg) crashed out early. Arun Kumar was Sushil’s replacement in the 66kg category and was eliminated in the first round.