India’s Sushil Kumar came from behind to beat defending champion Ramazan Sahin of Turkey 3-1 in his first bout and advance to the quarterfinals of the men’s 66kg freestyle wrestling event in the London Olympics on Sunday.
The Indian, bronze winner in 2008 Beijing Olympics, lost the first two-minute period by two technical points but rallied to win the next two periods in fine fashion at the ExCel arena.
Both the wrestlers got a bye in the first round and it was the Turkish, gold winner in Beijing four years ago and world champion in 2007, who started strongly by collecting two points to take the first period.
For a while it looked like Sushil would find it tough to beat his opponent as the second period went scoreless. But the Delhi-based wrestler, world and Asian champion in 2010, was lucky as he won the second period through a ‘clinch’ after the toss went in his favour.
The third and deciding period also saw a tough fight with both wrestlers not giving any inch to each other before the Indian finally securing a point to wrap up the bout.
In the quarterfinals, Sushil will meet 23-year-old Uzbek student Ikhtiyor Navruzov who beat Utar Tushishvili of Georgia 3-1 in another pre quarterfinal bout.