Sushil 'walks over' to a gold; Sakshi, Geeta excel at Natls
(Eds: updating with more information and quotes)
Indore, Nov 17 (PTI) Back in action after three-long years, two-time Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar took less than three minutes to bag a gold medal as three of his rivals gave him a walk over in men's 74kg freestyle competition of the National Wrestling championship here today.
Sushil battled for just 2 minutes and 33 seconds in total on the mat as he fought only two of his initial round bouts before three of his opponents -- in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final -- gave him a walk over.
Meanwhile, India's lone woman Olympic medal winner Sakshi Malik and popular 'Dangal girl' Geeta Phogat also bagged a gold medal each in their respective weight categories of women's wrestling on the second day of the marquee domestic event.
Sakshi finished on the top of the podium after posting a dominating 10-0 victory over Pooja Tomar of Haryana in the final of women's 62kg, while Geeta clinched the yellow metal with a win against Ravita in the final of 59kg category.
Even Geeta's husband Pawan Kumar managed to finish on top in 86kg.
All eyes were on Sushil today and India's greatest individual Olympian hardly had to break sweat as India international Parveen Rana decided to concede his bout against the 34-year-old in the gold-medal round, claiming injury.
Rana was carrying a niggle which could have been aggravated had he fought the bout.
"I pulled up a muscle of my thigh before the Nationals and I wanted to give a medical. But Railways needed two wrestlers so I came. After the first bout, I got a problem and by final I could not wrestle," said Rana.
It was Sachin Dahiya who gave him a walkover in the semifinals, enabling Sushil's smooth passage to the gold-medal round, while Praveen, too, handed his fancied opponent a walkover in the quarterfinals.
Both Dahiya and Praveen gave him a walkover to "show respect", according to the coaches and the officials of Wrestling Federation of India.
Earlier, Sushil showed that class is permanent as he took less than two minutes to get past his opponents in the initial rounds.
Sushil overpowered Mizoram's Lalmalsawma by technical fall in 48 seconds in the first round and then pinned down Mukul Mishra in just a minute and 45 seconds in his next bout.
Geeta had registered a come-from-behind win to make it to the finals with a 8-4 result over Sarita Mor 8-4 in her semifinal bout.
Sakshi, in her opening bout, pinned down her rival in just 39 seconds and eventually sailed into the final.
57kg: Utkrash Kale (Gold); Ravi Kumar (Silver); Amit (Bronze) & Mayank (Bronze).
65kg: Sonu (Gold), Praveen (Silver), Surjeet (Bronze) & Karan (Bronze).
74kg: Sushil Kumar (Gold), Praveen Rana (Silver), Praveen (Bronze) & Balraj (Bronze).
86kg: Pawan Kumar (Gold), Deepak (Silver), Surajvir (Bronze) & Deepak Punia (Bronze).
48kg: Ritu (Gold), Nirmal Devi (Silver), Preeti (Bronze) & Sheetal Tomar (Bronze).
53kg: Seema (Gold), Pinki (Silver), Priyanka (Bronze) & Diksha Tomar (Bronze).
55kg: Vinesh (Gold) Manisha (Silver), Swaranjeet Kaur (Bronze) & Reena (Bronze).
57kg: Pooja Dhanda (Gold), Sangeeta (Silver), Rani Rana (Bronze) & Indu Tomar (Bronze).
59kg: Geeta Phogat (Gold), Ravita (Silver), Sakshi (Bronze), & Sarita (Bronze).
62kg: Sakshi Malik (Gold), Pooja Tomar (Silver), Pooja (Bronze) & Manju (Bronze).
65kg: Ritu Malik (Gold), Gargi Yadav (Silver), Shilpi Sheron (Bronze) & Ishika Tomar (Bronze).
68kg: Divya Kakran (Gold), Monia (Silver), Kusum (Bronze) & Pinki (Bronze).
72kg: Kiran (Gold), Manu Tomar (Silver), Naina (Bronze) & Kamini (Bronze).
76kg: Pooja (Gold), Kavita (Silver), Jyoti (Bronze) & Rani (Bronze)