New Delhi: India's Sunil Kumar on Tuesday reached the Greco-Roman finals in the 87kg category with a brilliant comeback victory over Azamat Kustubayev of Kazakhstan at the Asian Wrestling Championship in the national capital.
Kumar was down 1-8 in his semi-final bout at one stage but made a great comeback winning 11 points on the trot to finish the bout at 12-8. In the final, Rome Ranking Series silver medallist Sunil will play against Azat Salidinov from Kyrgyzstan.
In 2019 also he had made it to the summit clash and ended with his first silver medal.
Earlier in the day, Arjun Halakurki (55kg) lost his semi-final bout from a winning position as the scoreline read 7-8 against Iran's Pouya Mohammad Naserpour. Arjun will now be playing against Korea's Donghyeok in the bronze medal playoff.
Mehar Singh also lost out in his semi-final bout. Up against Minseok Kim of Korea, Mehar lost out tamely to the Korean by a 1-9 margin. Mehar made it to the Indian team at the last minute.
Just three days before the Asian Wrestling, India's number one in 130 kg, Naveen pulled out of the event due to injury. Mehar replaced Naveen and won his opening bout against Daler Rakhmatov of Uzbekistan.
In the first qualification bout of the day, Sajan -- one of India's big medal hopes -- lost in a disappointing manner. He was pitted against Under 23 Asian Champion of 2019 Renat Iliazuulu of Kyrgyzstan in the first round. The Indian wrestler could not match the initial onslaught of Iliazuulu and lost out 6-9.
Sachin Rana (63kg) faced a massive loss against Elmurat Tasmuradov by a margin of 8-0. He was then pitted against Yernur Fidakhmetov of Kazakhstan where he could not muster much of a challenge and went down 6-3 in his Repechage bout.
Results – For all Indians on DAY 1
Quarterfinals – Arjun Halakurki (India) defeats Tuorki Ali (KSA) 10-2
Semi-finals – Arjun Halakurki (India) lost to Pouya Mohammad (Iran) 7-8
Last 16 – Sachin Rana (India) beat Tynar Sharshenbekov (KGZ) 6-0
Last 8 – Sachin Rana (India) lost to Elmurat Tasmuradov (UZB) 0-8
Last 16 – Sajan (India) lost to Renat Iliazuulu (KGZ) 6-9
Last 8 – Sunil Kumar (India) beat Takahiro Tsuruda (Japan) 8-2
Semis – Sunil Kumar (India) beat Azamat Kustubayev (KAZ) 12-8
Last 8 – Mehar Singh (India) beat Daler Rakhmatov (Uzbekistan) 4-0
Semis – Mehar Singh (India) lost to Minseok Kim (Korea) 9-1
(With inputs from PTI)