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 Games, had made it to the quarterfinals.
A year on, the Asian champion has demonstrated he should be counted among the world’s best. On Monday, the teenager won India a silver medal on the opening day of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Amit lost to Hassan Farman Rahimi of Iran in the 55 kg freestyle final.
Earlier, Amit defeated Turkey’s Sezar Akgul in the semifinals to assure himself of a silver. He had defeated Angel Alesmo Escobedo of USA in the quarterfinals. Japan’s Yasuhiro Inaba and Zoheir El Ouarraqe of France were his first to scalps as he got past them with ease.
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 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 (66 kg) and Satyawart Kadian (96kg) both crashed out early. Arun Kumar was Sushil’s replacement in the 66kg category and was eliminated in the first round.