Wrestler Sushil loses in first round, still in repechage

August 20th, 2008 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) Freestyle wrestler Sushil Kumar went down in the opening round of the men’s 66 kg freestyle competition, but he is still alive in the Games, as his conqueror fought his way through to the final Wednesday.Sushil Kumar lost to Ukrainian Andriy Stadnik on points after being pegged down 3-8 on technical points.

Indian coach P.P. Sondhi said: “His (Sushil’s) opponent was far superior but I have no regrets with Sushil’s show. Earlier in the round, his opponent was doing much better. So this was in his mind in the last period, too. Frankly, Stadnik was just a better wrestler.”

While the luck of the draw gave Sushil a bye in the first round, giving him a start straightaway in the quarterfinals, Standnik had to beat 2007 world no. 5 American Doug Schwab in the round of 16 to move further.

In the quarters, Stadnik, a former World Cup winner and 2006 World Championship bronze medallist, out-played the Indian. As Stadnik, quarterfinalist at the 2007 World Championships, moved into the final, all those who lost to him came through to the Repechage, which will decide the two bronze medallists.

In the Repechage first round, Sushil meets Schwab and their winner will meet Belarussian Albert Batyrov. Sushil will need to win a third bout after that to get himself a bronze. Schwab was fifth at the last World Championships, where Sushil was seventh.

Coming through to the final from the other half of the category is Turkish wrestler Ramazan Shahin, who won the gold medal in the 2007 World Championships, besides claiming the first place in the 2008 European meet.

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