Jakarta, Aug 19 (IANS) India’s veteran Sushil Kumar suffered a shock defeat in the opening round of the men’s 74 kg freestyle category in the wrestling competition at the 18th Asian Games here on Sunday.
Sushil seemed sluggish and off-colour right from the start during a rather lacklustre 3-5 defeat to Adam Batirov of Bahrain. Sushil will now hope that Batirov reaches the final in order to compete in the repechage round for a shot at the bronze medal.
Batirov later defeated Abdul Ghafar Qaderi of Afghanistan 15-5 in the pre-quarterfinals.
There was better news for India in the men’s 65 kg freestyle division as Bajrang Punia crushed Sirojiddin Khasanov of Uzbekistan on technical superiority in his campaign opener.
Bajrang struggled in the early stages as Khasanov opened up a comfortable 3-0 lead. But the Indian staged a strong comeback by notching up six consecutive points to lead 6-3 at he break.
Bajrang completely dominated the second and final round, scoring seven points within two minutes to take a 13-3 lead which saw him being adjudged the winner due to technical superiority.
A wrestler is considered winner by technical superiority when he leads by 10 or more points.
Bajrang will take on Fayziev Abdulqosim of Tajikistan in the quarter-finals.
Fayziev had thrashed Jindapan Somsak of Thailand by technical superiority (12-2) in the pre-quarterfinals.
In the 57kg freestyle category, Sandeep Tomar registered a 12-8 win over Rustem Nazarov of Turkmenistan to enter the second round.