Ravinder and Sunil impress in wrestling.
COMMONWEALTH Games gold medallist Ravinder Kumar and bronze winner Sunil Kumar Rana kept their date with destiny to win a medal each in Greco- Roman wrestling at the Asian Games at the Huagong Gymnasium on Sunday. Rana pinned down his Thai opponent Sutep Oomchompoo to win by fall (5-0) in just six seconds to stamp his authority in the bronze medal bout. Earlier, Ravinder showed he was not an also-ran here to win against Indonesian Muhammad Aliansyah by points (3-1). A lot of hopes were pinned on both Ravinder and Rana and they did not disappoint the fans back home despite losing their first-round bouts in the morning. In fact, the two Indians had very little time after their first bouts which they lost -- Ravinder 1-3 to Nurbak Tengizbayev of Kazakhstan and Rana 0-3 to Yazgeldy of Turkmenistan -- but proved themselves in the next to keep their hopes floating. However, the third Indian in the fray, Rajinder Kumar, bowed out without making it to the medal round.
Ravinder fought well against Jihyun Jung of Korea in the second bout to make it to the repechage round for a bronze medal in the evening. The bout against his Korean rival was easy as the Railways matman came into his own to pin him down and log full three points, without conceding any to the Korean. When he came for the repechage bout in the evening, Ravinder looked confident and reassuring to the sparse Indian crowd which cheered endlessly the moment he stepped on the mat. Within seconds, he picked a couple of technical points and by the time the first round was over, he had a lead of seven points to three.
The second round seemed a mere formality as the 21-year-old Indonesian could not extricate himself from the grip of the experienced Ravinder, who scored two more technical points in 18 seconds and made the bronze medal his own. "I knew after my second-round win that I will definitely take the medal here. This medal is precious because the competition level here was much stronger than at the CWG," said the wrestler from Haryana. His coach Hargobind Singh was all praise for his ward, but admitted that he should have won against the Chinese wrestler in the morning. "Ravinder is a technically sound wrestler, but I he was a little overawed by the occasion this morning," he said.
But the bout between Rana and Sutep seemed a mismatch as the Indian was quick to pounce on his rival and pin him down. It took just six seconds and it was the game and medal for the Indian. Rana, who had finished third at the Asian championship in Delhi early this year, was too good on the day and the Thai found himself well caught in his grip. "I am happy I was able to win a medal after the disappointment of missing out on the gold at the CWG at Delhi," said the 27-yearold wrestler. He admitted he was aggressive right from the word go and it paid dividends. Another CWG gold-medallist, Rajender Kumar, however, crashed out in the 55kg competition after losing to Li Shujin of China in the first round.
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