Taichung (Taiwan), June 17 (IANS) Indian wrestler Pushpender Singh bagged bronze in the boys’ 120 kilogram Freestyle category on the third day of the Junior Asian Championships here on Saturday.
Pushpender defeated Kim Ki Bum 3-2 in a tough play-off to finish on the podium.
This is the first medal for India in the boys’ freestyle categories of the ongoing competition.
Khasanboy Rakhimov of Uzbekistan won the gold, defeating Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur of Mongolia by fault in the final. The Uzbek was leading 2-0 when he managed to pin his opponent.
Shayan Sadegh Jalilzadeh Kohnehgheshlagh of Iran defeated Benxin Duan of China 4-0 in the other bronze medal play-off.
However, Swapnil Bhimrao Shelar — the other Indian in action on Saturday — had to face disappointment as he crashed out in the qualification round of the boys’ 50 kilogram category.
Swapnil was no match for Rustambek Juraev of Uzbekistan, going down by technical fault in his very first bout.
The Uzbek was too superior in terms of technique, racking up a 10-0 lead which prompted the referee to stop the contest.
With Pushpender’s freestyle medal, the Indian contingent now has a total of 13 medals in this competition, including two gold, one silver and 10 bronze.
The Indian girls have clinched two gold medals through Pooja Gehlot (51kg) and Sonu (44kg) apart from three bronze.
The Indian boys have registered a tally of one silver and six bronze medals in the Greco-Roman competition.
This is the best performance by Indian boys in the Greco-Roman style as they have finished on the podium in every weight category except for the 60kg division.
Pushpender started the bronze medal play-off in the 120 kilogram freestyle division on the wrong foot as Kim produced an early takedown to take a 2-0 lead.
However the Indian managed to reduce the gap to a single point around 30 seconds before the end of the first round when the passivity rule was invoked against Kim for his defensive attitude.
The Indian was more aggressive after the break, forcing the Korean onto the back foot. Kim was no match for Pushpender’s strength as the Indian soon took a 3-2 lead.
Kim tried hard to make a comeback. but Pushpender held on to ensure victory.