Indians wrestlers flop on the second day of Greco-Roman


Staff member
Guangzhou November 23:

Indian wrestlers failed to emulate their teammates' first day performances and ended without any medal on the second day of Asian Games Greco-Roman wrestling competition here.

It was a bad start for the Indians as Sanjay Kumar lost his opening bout in the 74kg category to Kyrgyzstan's Daniyar Kobnov 0-3 in an one-sided bout. The 28-year wrestler from Haryana, who had finished fifth in the Asian Championship early this year was much slower than his rival.

Daniyar grappled well and the Indian found it hard to wriggle out from his stranglehold and lost the bout. However, Sanjay could not make use of the another chance when in a repechage bout he got a chance to fight with Kazaksthan's Roman Meyoshin. Though he fought well but he was not able to prevent Melyoshin from emerging winner. The Indian again lost 0-3.

In the 84kg bout, Manoj Kumar raised the medal hopes when he won his first two bouts to reach the semifinals. The 26-year-old Indian overpowered Labnon's Ali Awarke (3-0) in an one-sided bout. Awarke turned out to be novice wrestler and must have learnt a lesson in this sport. Manoj then thrashed Syria's Nezar Oudeh 3-0 in a bout which was well-contested and the Syrian put up a good fight before bowing out.

The Indian was physically and technically superior to his rival and emerged comfortable winner. However in the semifinal, Manoj met his match in Iran's Taleb Nematpour. The Indian could not repeat the display he had given in his earlier round and Iranian took advantage of his rival's nervous and somewhat tentative approach. Taleb won the bout 3-0 on technical points.

In the fight for the bronze, Manoj virtually threw in the towel against Kyrgystan's Janarbek Kenjeev who proved too strong for him. The Indian could not cross this hurdle as he looked tired. Kenjeev collected two points in the first round and one in second to clinch the bout (3-0) and the bronze. ''I gave my best but to fight four bouts in short span is not easy,'' said Manoj after the bout.

''The competition is very high here and I did well by winning two rounds, but I m feeling bad that I have not won the medal.'' 32-year-old Anil Kumar, winner of bronze medal in Asian Championship at Pattaya, Thailand last year, was eliminated in the first round of the 96kg category. He was sent crashing out by Kyrgystan's Azmat Erkimbaev 0-3 and after that, Azmat also lost his second round bout thus depriving Anil a chance of repechage.

A loser gets a chance of repechage, if his winner makes it to the final. Yesterday, India had won two bronze medals in this event. Coach Hargobind was of the view that Manoj was unlucky not to have won the medal. ''He (Manoj) fought well. ''The standard is very high. Asian Games have become tough after the inclusion of the countries of former Soviet Union,'' he said but added, ''Still our boys did fight well. Yesterday we won two medals for the first time in Greco-Roman event at the Asiad.'' ''It is commendable,'' he added.