Not only did Ramesh Kumar keep his words, the wrestler also broke a 42-year-old hoodoo by winning a bronze medal, at the World Championship in the Danish city of Herning on Wednesday.
The unassuming grappler may not have bettered Vishambar Singh’s silver-medal winning feat of 1967, but his victory over Alexandr Burca of Moldova in the 74kg category ensured he doesn’t return home empty handed.
Son of a farmer, Kumar considers his better half as his ‘lucky mascot’ and attributed his success on the ring to his wife.
“Sonu is my luck mascot. She always acts as the motivating factor and has also warned me never to skip training,” Kumar had said it on quite a few occasions.
Except in Poland, Ramesh has won medals in every competition since his marriage with Sonu last December.
“I couldn’t qualify for the Beijing Olympics because of an injury. But this time, I have trained extensively and If all goes well, we will surely win medal in the worlds,” Kumar had told HT, before leaving for the championship.
Kumar defeated Dustin Schlatter of the US (3-2) in the opening round. Next up was Great Britain’s Michael Grundy who he beat (4-2) and then got the better of Kiril Terziev of Bulgaria (7-4) in the quarterfinal.
According to information received here, Kumar lost to Chamsulvarayeb of Azerbaijan 0-3 in the semifinal on Wednesday.
The Athens Olympian, who has a cadet and juniors world title to his name, is going through a dream run — he won medals in both the Asian Championship and German Grand Prix.
“Till 2002, I had a wonderful run in the international arena. I won gold in both the cadet and junior world championships and a gold in the Commonwealth Games.
But then, a ligament knee injury in 2003 halted my career for almost a year. But 2009 is turning out to be a good year for me,” said the youngest wrestler to have won the Arjuna award.