Wrestler Anirudh Kumar (125kg) was the sole medallist for India on Friday, the final day of the Asian Wrestling Championships 2023 in Astana. Anirudh defeated Uzbekistan’s Sardorbek Kholmatov on technical superiority (12-2) to clinch his maiden Seniors international medal.
Anirudh commenced his campaign with a dominant 8-2 victory over Japan’s Taiki Yamamoto before losing the quarter-final by (2-0) to Kazakhstan’s Yusup Batirmurzaev in 31 seconds. In the bronze medal playoff against Kholmatov, Anirudh gave his best, finishing the contest with 30 seconds remaining in the first period.
Team 🇮🇳 ends #WrestleAstana with Anirudh Kumar's 🥉!
The #KheloIndia Athelete defeats 🇺🇿's Sardorbek Kholmatov 12-2 in the First Round by Technical Superiority!
This is also Anirudh's 1⃣st ever senior-level medal in any International Competition
Congratulations champ 🥳💪 pic.twitter.com/Mg0Nnj64Rm
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) April 14, 2023
Anirudh hails from Sonipat’s Purkhas village and is a product of Chhatrasal Stadium. The 21-year-old won the cadet Asian and Worlds bronze in 2019 and secured another third-place finish at the Junior World Championships in 2021.
The head coach at Chhatrasal Stadium, Lalit, Kumar, said,
“He is a well-rounded wrestler, but still a work in progress. We are still working on some technical areas and if he is able to learn, you’ll see him win a lot of international medals in near future.”
“Anirudh is quite injury-prone. In heavier weights, you can get injured really badly, so that is one area he needs to guard against.”
Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympian Deepak Punia failed to reach the medal round. He drew a blank in the 92kg division. Punia overpowered China’s Xiao Sun 8-1 in his opening bout but lost to Bahrain‘s Magomed Sharipov 5-0.
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