Young wrestler Mohit Kumar becomes the first Indian to win Junior Wrestling Championship since 2019 as he defeated Russian wrestler Eldar Akhmadudinov in the 61kg final. Priya is in line to become the second India’s second wrestler to clinch the title.
Mohit had a horrendous start as he was trailing 6-0 against the Russian, who was participating as an individual athlete. However, Akhmadudinov started getting tired as the 61kg final progressed. Therefore Mohit started getting the better of his opponent. The Indian grappler made no mistake as he grabbed the right opportunity to win nine straight points and also bagged the U-20 World Wrestling Championship title.
Deepak Punia who featured in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was the last Indian male wrestler to win the U-20 World Wrestling Championship in 2019. Deepak has grown from strength to strength since then and has brought many accolades. Mohit will be hoping to take inspiration from the grappler and follow in his footsteps.
In 2001, Palwinder Cheema and Ramesh Kumar also clinched the gold medal at this event and therefore Mohit is the fourth male grappler from India to achieve this feat.
During the match, the first half was completely dominated by Akhmadudinov. However, before the halftime hooter, Mohit registered a point which gave him confidence going into the break. On his return, the youngster completely dominated the Russian grappler and did not allow him to take advantage again.
Mohit understood that his opponent was tired and therefore he made him work and then registered push-out points. Akhmadudinov was so tired that he had to call for a medical timeout to take a breather. Ultimately, it was Mohit’s aggressive nature and his moves which neutralized his opponent’s defence.
Jaideep won the 74kg bronze with a win over Kyrgyszstan’s Zhakshylyk Ruslanovich Baitashov.
Overall Indian men’s freestyle team has won five medals in the competition so far.
Sagar Jaglan (79kg) won a silver, while Deepak Chahal (97kg) and Sagar (57kg) had won bronze medals.
In the women’s competition, Priya reached the 76kg final with a win over USA’s Kennedy Alexis Blades via technical superiority. She will face Germany’s Laura Celine Kuchen in the final.
If Priya bags the gold medal, she will be the second Indian female grappler to win the coveted crown. Last year, Antim Panghal won the gold medal in the same competition. She is participating this year as well and will start her title defence against Poland’s Nikola Monika Wisniewska in the pre-quarters.
Among the other Indian women wrestlers, Arju could bag the bronze medal after she lost the semi-final against Elizaveta Petliakova. The likes of Priyanshi Prajapat (50kg), Jyoti (55kg) and Nitika (59kg) bowed out of the championship.