Wrestling, U-20 World C’ships: Mohit Kumar wins India’s first gold; Rajat Ruhal clinches bronzeAugust 17, 2023
Mohit Kumar, on Wednesday, became the first Indian wrestler since Deepak Punia in 2019 to be crowned the U-20 World Champion.
Kumar defeated Russia’s Eldar Akhmaduninov 9-8 in the men’s 61kg final in Amman, Jordan.
The Indian trailed 0-6 in the final before Akhmaduninov, who is competing as a neutral athlete in the competition, started making mistakes.
Kumar took advantage of the errors to pocket nine straight points and clinched the gold medal from a difficult situation.
Later in the day, Rajat Ruhal defeated Canada’s Karanveer Singh Mahil 9-8 to bag the bronze medal in the men’s 125kg weight division.
Ruhal had earlier lost to the eventual silver medallist Said Khasan Akhmatov 0-12 on technical superiority in the qualification round.
Akhmatov’s run into the final meant that the Indian got a shot at the bronze medal via the repechage rounds where he defeated Bulgaria’s Stefan Dimitrov Shavkov 10-0 and Azerbaijan’s Yusif Dursunov 14-4 to enter the bronze medal contest.
Ruhal’s win brought up the Indian men’s freestyle wrestler’s medal tally to five in Amman. Earlier, Sagar Jaglan (79kg) had bagged a silver, while Deepak Chahal (97kg) and Sagar (57kg) had won a bronze each.
Priya Malik reaches Final
Meanwhile, Priya Malik made her way into the final of women’s 76kg event on Wednesday. She registered a dominating 10-0 win by technical superiority over the 2021 U-20 world champion Kennedy Blades of USA in the semi-final.
Malik will now face-off against Germany’s Laura Celine Kuehn in the final.
Earlier, the Indian had started her campaign with a 4-0 win over Mariia Silina in the qualification round before getting the better of Aliaksandra Kazlova in the quarter-finals on technical superiority.
Among the other Indian women’s wrestlers, Arju will fight for bronze in 68kg on Thursday after she lost her semi-final bout against Elizaveta Petliakova.