All four Wushu players settle for bronze for best ever show
By Amanpreet Singh
(Eds: Updating with additional inputs and quotes)
Jakarta, Aug 22 (PTI) Narender Grewal (65kg) had to be content with a bronze medal yet again in the Asian Games after losing the men's Sanda semifinals even as the Indian Wushu team savoured its best ever show at the continental showpiece with four medals here today.
All the four Indians in action today were assured of at least a bronze after reaching the semifinals but all of them lost their last-four bouts.
Wushu, a Chinese Kung-fu, is different from other combat sports as it is a mix of kick-boxing and wrestling.
Grewal, who won a bronze in Sanda 60kg in the 2014 Asian Games, lost 0-2 to Iran's Foroud Zafari in the 65kg semifinals after getting the better of Clemente Tabugara of the Philippines and Akmal Rakhimov in the earlier rounds.
Santosh Kumar, a bronze medallist from 2013 World Championships, lost 0-2 to Vietnam's Truong Giang Bui in the Sanda 56 kg category. Earlier in the week, Santosh had beaten Myanmar's Linn Thu Rain in the Round of 32 and followed that with a win over Yemen's Wazid Zaid Ali in Round of 16.
Santosh reached the medal round with a win in the quarterfinals over Thailand's Phithak Poakrathok.
Surya Bhanu Partap Singh (60kg Sanda), who had beaten Abdul Soyan Haris and Jean Claude Saclag in the earlier rounds, also lost 0-2 to Erfan Ahangarian of Iran in the semifinals.
Roshibina Devi (60kg women's Sanda) had a lucky draw and was seeded straight into the quarterfinals, where she beat Pakistan's Mubashra before losing 0-1 to China's Cai Yingying in the semifinals today.
Indian team coach Ravi Prakash Tripathi said training in China ahead of the Asian Games has helped the players improve their performance.
"We came here straight from China. We trained there for one month. They have Grade 1 coaches, who helped our players. The government and SAI helped us by funding these training trips and including our athletes in TOPS," Tripathi, who is based at NIS Patiala, told PTI