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Sushil Kumar decimates opponents to win gold in 2018 Commonwealth Games

It was Sushil Kumar’s third straight Commonwealth Games gold medal and India’s second gold from the wrestling mat from CWG 2018 in Gold Coast, after Rahul Aware earlier in the day.

other sports Updated: Apr 12, 2018 17:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Gold Coast
2018 Commonwealth Games,Sushil Kumar,CWG 2018
Sushil Kumar celebrates after winning gold in the men's freestyle 74kg wrestling category, beating Johannes Botha of South Africa in the final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Thursday. (PTI)

Sushil Kumar’s domination of the men’s 74kg freestyle wrestling category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast was summed up by the way he went about his business in the final bout against Johannes Botha of South Africa. (CWG live updates)

Sushil, after the initial exchange of grips, went for his moves, bouncing Botha around at will, literally toying with the idea of victory. The South African was so unsettled that it seemed he had lost his bearings, when the referee whistled announcing the end of the bout, with Sushil earning a 10-0 (technical superiority), to win gold on Thursday.

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It was Sushil’s third straight Commonwealth Games gold medal and India’s second gold from the wrestling mat from this edition of the CWG. Earlier, Rahul Aware won gold in the 57kg division, dominating his opponents, but not to the same extend as Sushil. India won two more medals from the wrestling arena on Thursday -- Babita Kumari settling for silver in the 53kg women’s division and Kiran earning a bronze in the 76 kg category.

Sublime Sushil

But the star of the day was indeed Sushil, the larger-than-life double Olympic medallist who had overcome injuries and controversies to be in Gold Coast for the competition.

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He started off with a 11-0 decimation of Jevan Balfour of Canada, winning by technical superiority. He didn’t waste any time against his quarterfinal opponent either -- Muhammad Asad Butt of Pakistan. Sushil won again by technical superiority, scoring points from takedowns to close the bout 10-0 early in the second period.

He had a relatively less assertive outing against Australia’s Connor Evans in the semi-final, winning it 4-0. Sushil scored from two take downs but despite the low scoring, the Indian was always in control against Evans, who fought brilliantly, egged on by the home support.

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However, the “technical superiority” of Sushil was never in question during any of his bouts, and the confidence from this medal, though against lesser opponents, should get him pumped up for the bigger tournament this year -- the Asian Games.

First Published: Apr 12, 2018 14:33 IST