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Three walkovers to gold: How wrestler Sushil Kumar became national champion

Sushil lifted the national gold, fighting for just two minutes and 55 seconds in five matches

ANI  |  New Delhi 

Sushil Kumar
Sushil Kumar

Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who was back on the mat after the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, on Friday grabbed a gold medal in the Championship held in Indore without even breaking a sweat.

Back in action after three-long years, Sushil fought just at the first and the second rounds before he was declared the ultimate winner in the 74kg category of the event as three of his challengers wrestlers, including the finalist, Praveen Rana, offered him walkovers.

In fact, the three opponents also touched Sushil's feet while giving him a walkover as their tribute to India's greatest individual Olympian.

After Sushil lifted the national gold, fighting for just two minutes and 55 seconds in five matches, the referee reportedly applauded the gesture of the wrestlers and said: 'Yeh hai Bharat ki kushti ki parampara' (This is the tradition of Indian wrestling).

When asked about the same from Narsingh Yadav, who was once involved in an infamous dispute with Sushil, he said, "Sushil has been doing good. Sushil has won the nationals just as star shuttler Saina Nehwal. There is nothing like tradition. Fight is Fight. Those who want to fight will fight."

Another Indian wrestler Babita Phogat insisted that Sushil's opponents should have fought as it would have only helped them in boosting their confidence, adding that she does not consider it as a tradition.

She, however, added, "Sushil's medal in the Championship has given us hope that India would surely clinch a medal in the upcoming big tournaments."

Finalist Rana, who was sent to the 2016 Rio by the Federation of India (WFI) following the Narsingh-Sushil controversy, gave a walkover to the two-time Olympic medallist citing a thigh injury.

The two other wrestlers Sushil faced earlier in the day were Sachin Rathi of Uttar Pradesh and Praveen of Haryana.

First Published: Sat, November 18 2017. 14:35 IST
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