India started the day with a possibility of four gold medals from wrestling with Satywart Kadian, B Bajrang, Lalita and Sakshi Malik reaching finals. But as the day progressed India’s hopes ran dry as all of them lost one-sided bouts to settle for silver. This came a day after the grapplers —Sushil Kumar, Amit Kumar and Vinesh Phogat — had won India three gold medals.
Sakshi lost the women’s freestyle 58kg final to Nigeria’s Aminat Adeniyi in a match which did not even last the first three minutes. Aminat completely dominated Sakshi and took a lead of 10-0 in two minutes 24 seconds when the match had to be stopped on grounds of technical superiority. Sakshi’s was the third silver for India.
Bajrang, a strong contender for the gold, lasted just 84 seconds in his 61kg final against Canada’s David Tremblay. The Canadian beat Bajrang 12-1 in the first period, again declared the winner on account of technical superiority. The third silver for India came in 53kg freestyle, where Lalita lost to Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye who came and left dancing. Odunayo took just 31 seconds to seal the gold medal and then entertained the crowd with a spontaneous jig. Lalita’s silver was the fifth medal for India from wrestling. Satywart too met with the same fate and settled for silver in the 97kg freestyle bout.
Tuesday’s hero and India’s only double individual Olympic medallist Sushil said on Wednesday that his immediate aim is to win a gold medal in the upcoming Asian Games.
“My next international events are World Championships and Asian Games. Both are
important for me. My ultimate target is a gold in 2016 Rio Olympics. But I have not won a gold in the Asian Games and so I want to win a gold in South Korea,” the 31-year-old grappler said.
As the country’s best exponent of his sport, Sushil has urged the India’s private sector to lend a helping hand to Olympic sports in order to help them compete with cricket on an even keel.
Sushil said India can become a sporting power in Olympic sport if the private sector comes in a big way. “We can be a power in Olympic sport just like we are a top country in cricket. Olympic sport and cricket can survive together and it can happen if private sector comes in a big way to help sports like wrestling,” said the wrestler.
Sushil said efforts should be made to spread wrestling to each and every corner of the country.
Sushil, who won a gold in men’s 75kg freestyle in the Commonwealth Games here, said Indian can further rise in wrestling if the sport conquers new horizons in the country.
“I am for spreading the sport in other parts of the game. It (wrestling) is a traditional game and there is a lot of talent in the country. How to tap the talent is the important thing,” Sushil said.
“Whenever I am required and my service is necessary to do that (to spread the sport), I am ready.”