CHENNAI: Sushil Kumar has gotten into a habit of making history it seems and the champion wrestler did it again, winning the gold medal at the World Wrestling Championship in Moscow on Sunday.
Sushil became the first Indian wrestler to win gold at a senior world championship after outclassing Alan Gogaev of Russia 3-1 in straight rounds in the final of the 66 kg freestyle category at the Olympiskiy Sports Centre in Moscow.
The dominating fashion in which Sushil, bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, won the title clash is proof of the Najafgarh wrestler’s dominance in the category.
Sushil, known for his power-game, went on the offensive at the start of the first two-minute round in the final bout. The 27-year-old used his leg take-down moves to unsettle the technically sound Russian and scored two quick points to control the proceedings there after. And though Gogaev took a point back, Sushil closed the opening round 2-1 with some solid defence.
Gogaev went on the offensive in the start of the second period, but the experienced Sushil controlled his younger rival and scored a point with another take down to surprise the home crowd as the Indian contingent went berserk. The Russians were surprised perhaps with the loss on home turf but the Indian team officials expected nothing but gold from their champion.
"It is a great victory. We expected a gold medal from Sushil as he has been in good form of late. And today, he was in sublime form and the way he dominated the final bout against the Russian is proof of his quality," GS Mander, president of Wrestling Federation on India, told TOI after the victory.
"Sushil was unstoppable throughout the tournament. He won almost all his bouts in straight rounds, except for a small setback during his semifinal bout against a wrestler from Azerbaijan," he added.
Sushil’s semifinal bout against Hasanov Jabrayil brought out the fighter in him as he came from behind to win 4-3 in three rounds. Jabrayil took the opening round after scoring a point but Sushil levelled the score 1-1 in the second round and then went on attack mode in the final round.