Glasgow: Star grappler Sushil Kumar led India`s sparkling show in the wrestling arena as the country claimed three gold medals on the first day of the wrestling competitions at the Commonwealth Games, here on Tuesday.
Sushil expectedly bagged gold in men`s 75kg freestyle category while Amit Kumar won the yellow metal in men`s 57kg while Vinesh Phogat finished on top in women`s 48kg at the SECC Hall. Rajeev Tomar, however had to settle for a silver in the men`s 125 kg freestyle event after going down to Canada`s Korey Jarvis 0-3 in finals.
31-year-old Sushil asserted his class as he won his all four bouts of the day quite comfortably. In the gold-medal bout against Qamar Abbas of Pakistan, Sushil had an easy outing. Even before one could blink, the contest was over as the Indian pinned down his rival to clinch the gold with a 8-0 scoreline in under two minutes.
In no time, Sushil raced to a 6-0 lead and added two more points, straight away finishing off the contest. Amit Kumar defeated Ebikweminomo Welson of Nigeria 6-2 in his final bout. 20-year-old Indian started off well and completely dominated the first round to post a comfortable 4-0 win. The Nigerian, however, fought back and the two wrestlers gave each other a tough time in the next round and they could bag just two points each.
But due to four points in his kitty already from the opening round, the youngster from India prevailed over his opponent to pocket the yellow metal. In what turned out to be a close battle between Vinesh and England`s Yana Rattigan in the finals of the women`s 48kg event, the Indian won 11-8.
Vinesh was down 2-4 in the first round and was facing a tough challenge from her English opponent. But she managed to earn two points to tie it at 4-4 before she could put her rival down again to bag another two just in time to wrap up the opening round 6-4.
Second round was also a fierce contest but Indian somehow maintained her composure to earn second gold for the country in wrestling.
Tomar failed to do much in his gold-medal bout, as he failed to earn even a single point. His Canadian rival, meanwhile, could snatch a few technical points in his favour to eke out a narrow 3-0 win and bag the gold.
Earlier in the day, Sushil and Amit trumped three strong grapplers one after another within a matter of just one-and-a-half hours in their respective weight categories, to make the gold-medal round. Tomar had two easy rounds before he made the finals of the men`s 125kg category. Vinesh also overpowered two opponents en-route to the finals.
Sushil, the 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medallist and a silver medal winner at the 2012 London Games, won the round of 16 and quarterfinals by the virtue of Great Superiority, which means winning by a difference of 10 points. Sushil thrashed Australia`s Jayden Lawrence 11-0 in round of 16, before blanking Kushan Sandrage of Sri Lanka 10-0 in the last eight-stage of the competition.
Sushil, however, faced some threat in the semifinals against Nigeria`s Melvin Bibo but in the end, it was the Indian who turned out to be far superior with an 8-4 victory. The star Indian grappler won six points in the first period but his opponent restored parity in the next. The Nigerian stunned Sushil when he put him down in the second round to not only earn two points to his credit but also injure the Indian.
Sushil was seen bleeding from his nose but he was soon back with a bang as he snatched two more points to have the last laugh.
Amit won two of his bouts en-route to the finals on the basis of Great Superiority. The scoreline was 10-0 in both quarterfinals and semifinals. While in the semis, he outplayed Azhar Hussain of Pakistan, Amit blanked Bokang Masunyane of South Africa in the quarters.
He had defeated Jean Guyliane Bandoo of Mauritius 5-0 in the round of 16 earlier. Tomar had it easy against Nigeria`s Sinivie Boltic during his quarterfinal bout, where he beat his rival 12-2. Boltic was no match to Tomar as he looked tired and exhausted throughout the match.
In the semifinals, Tomar outplayed New Zealand`s Marcus Carney 13-1. Vinesh had got the better of Rosemary Nweke 7-1 in the quarterfinals, while she overpowered Jasmine Mian of Canada 12-1 in the last four round. Meanwhile, India`s Jyoti lost three out of her four bouts in the women`s freestyle 75kg NS category. She lost 0-4 to Blessing Onyebuchi of Nigeria in the first round but managed to prevail over Sophie Edwards of England in the second, before going down to Annabel Ali of Cameroom in the third bout. In her fourth bout, she lost to Erica Wiebe of Canada.