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Amit Dhankar, Viky settle for silver at the Asian Championships

Dhankar went down to Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Kaisanov 0-5 in the final. Viky (92kg) clinched another silver medal for India on the second day of the completion.

other sports Updated: Apr 25, 2019 01:24 IST
Avishek Roy
Avishek Roy
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Amit Dhankar,Viky,Asian Championships
Representative Image.(Hindustan Times)

Amit Dhankar gave indications he could be stepping out of two-time Olympic Games medallist Sushil Kumar’s shadow, bagging silver in the 74kg category at the Asian Championships in Xi’an, China on Wednesday.

Dhankar went down to Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Kaisanov 0-5 in the final. Viky (92kg) clinched another silver medal for India on the second day of the completion. In the final, Viky was no match for Iranian Alireza Mohammad Karimimachiani, who wrapped up the bout on the basis of technical superiority in the first period itself. India also bagged three bronze medals.

Rahul Aware (61kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Sumit (125) added to the tally winning their bronze medal bouts. After two days of competition, India have now one gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

The 74kg assumes significance because of two-time Olympian Sushil Kumar. Before the 2016 Rio Olympics, Sushil and Narsingh were engaged in a bitter turf war to represent India in 74kg. It was Dhankar’s second medal in the Asian Championships.

“I am very satisfied with my performance because this was my first international event in 74kg and I won a silver medal. My target is the World Championships and I want to qualify for the Olympics in 74kg, “ said Dhankar.

Asked about Sushil being in the same category, Dhankar said, “I practice with Sushil and he has been guiding me. I have learnt so much from him. I can’t say whether he wants to fight in the World Championships but I definitely want to compete in 74kg.

“My form had not been good in recent times. Besides , my weight used to be above 70kg, so I had to lose a lot of weight before bouts in order to compete in a lower category (65kg). That’s why I moved to 74kg and won the national title and then the trials,” added Dhankar.

In 2013, the Haryana wrestler emerged as a teenage talent when he stunned a quality field in the national capital here to win gold in the Asian meet in 66kg. However, his career never took off and he is best remembered as Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt’s fierce adversary. In 2014, Dhankar had moved the Delhi High Court against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) when Yogeshwar was selected for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games without trials.

Dhankar, who had been lying low for a long period, is back in a higher category with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics. He made a comeback by winning the nationals last year and then won the trials to stake claim for the Asian meet. In the buildup to the World Championships, the qualifying event for 2020 Olympics, the 74kg category will be in the spotlight again. Sushil did not take part in the nationals but has his sights on the World Championships.

On Wednesday, Dhankar fought with resolve. The 28-year-old defeated Mohammad Ashghar Nokhodilarimi of Iran 2-1 to win in his first bout. His next opponent Japan’s Yuhi Fujinami was injured during the bout and Dhankar got an easy passage to the semi-finals where he outplayed Ilgiz Dzhakypbekov of Kyrgyzstan 5-0.

In the final, Dhankar met a strong contender in Asian Games silver medallist Daniyar Kaisanov who showed good speed in attack and defence. The Indian was down 2-0 in the first period and could never recover in the second. All his attempts to attack Daniyar were skilfully thwarted by the Kazakh. Twice Daniyar was able to escape Dhankar’s clutches.

In the 86 kg bronze medal bout, Deepak Punia, the junior world silver medallist and the junior Asian champion, rallied to win a thrilling match against Bakhodur Kodirov of Tajikistan.

Down 0-2, Punia got a good hold of his rival just before the end of first period to take a 6-2 lead. He added two more points in the second period and did not allow any scoring opportunity to Kodirov,

In 61kg Rahul Aware defeated Kim Jincheol of Korea 9-2 while Sumit Malik got the better of Farkhod Anakulov of Tajikistan 8-2 for a third bronze medal in 125kg.

First Published: Apr 24, 2019 23:53 IST