Sushil fails to defend World C`ship crown

New Delhi: In what came as a huge shock, defending champion and star Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar crashed out in the second round of the 66kg freestyle category at the World Wrestling Championships in Istanbul on Sunday.

Sushil, who last year created history by becoming thefirst Indian to win a gold in the world championships in Moscow, was shocked 5:3 by Ukraine`s Andriy Stadnik.

With Sushil`s exit, India`s campaign in the world championships ended on a disappointing note as not a single grappler made their presence felt in the tournament.

Apart from Sushil, only Mausam Khatri showed some promise making it to the pre-quarterfinals of the 96kg freestyle division before losing to Jozef Jaloviar of Slovakia.

Mausam had earlier defeated Leon Gregory Rattigan of Great Britain in the opening round before getting the better of Armenian Harutyun Yenokyan in the next.

India`s other freestyle wrestlers -- Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg), Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg) and Pawan Kumar (84kg) all failed to clear their first hurdle.

While Yogeshwar lost to Mostafa Ghadir Aghajaniozonbalagh of Iran, Narsingh and Pawan were shown the door by Gentry, Matthew Judah Gentry of Canada and Kazakhstan`s Yermek Baiduashov respectively.

The Indian wrestlers also came a cropper in the female and grecoroman categories.

Against Stadnik today, Sushil, who defeated Joseph Lopez Jr of Guam in the opening round, started brilliantly racing off to a 2:0 lead in the first period.

But the Ukranian made a strong comeback in the second period and pocketed four straight points to take a 4:2 lead.

In the third period, Sushil tried hard to force a comeback but it was not to be as both the grapplers shared a point each, which ensured Stadnik`s place in the pre-quarterfinals.


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