New Delhi: Haryana grappler Ramesh Kumar defeated Alexandr Burca of Moldova in the 74kg category to become the first Indian in 42 years to clinch a freestyle medal at the World wrestling championship in Herning, Denmark.
Kumar, who came from behind after a disappointing start in the bout, was announced winner on the basis of technical points after the repechage round ended with both wrestlers tied at 7-7 on Wednesday night.
Vishambhar Singh was the last Indian wrestler who bagged a freestyle silver medal in the 1967 World championship.
It was a bad start for Kumar, who was trailing 0-3 after the first period. He then came back strongly in the second session to score two points and then finished off the final period picking up five points as against his opponent’s four to emerge victorious on technical points.
Kumar, however, lost out on a gold medal opportunity, going down 0-5 to Chamsulvara Chamsulvarayev of Azerbaijan in the last-four stage to set up a repechage encounter against Burca.
The gold in this category was won by Denis Tsargush of Russia.
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, India’s Nirmala Devi lost in the opening round of the 48kg category to Great Britain’s Yana Stadnik, while Babita Kumari bowed out in the quarterfinal against Natalia Budu of Moldova in the 51kg division. The other Indians to win World championship medals are Uday Chand (bronze, 1961) and Alka Tomar (bronze, 2006). — PTI