Returning to the World Wrestling Championships after eight years, double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar lost his opening round bout to Azerbaijan's Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev on Friday (September 20).
Using all his experience, the wily Indian had raced to a 9-4 lead but lost seven points in a row to lose the 74 kg qualification bout. (SPORTS NEWS)
Sushil employed a four-point throw after trailing 0-2 to take lead and further consolidated it with another four-point throw, which came from a difficult position.
The Azerbaijan camp challenged the throw but lost the call, giving one additional point to Sushil for a 9-4 lead at the break.
However, the second period belonged to the Junior world bronze medallist, who first pushed Sushil out and the scored of a takedown and took the lead with a gut wrench from ground position.
Time was running out but Sushil appeared to tired himself out as Gadzhiyev scored two more points with a two-point push out throw to clinch the bout.
The two-time Olympic medallist will now have to wait to know his fate. If Gadzhiyev reaches the final, Sushil, will get a chance to fight for Olympic qualification as well as a bronze.
Sushil is the only Indian to have won a World title when he triumphed in 2010 in Moscow. In the non-Olympic 70kg, Karan lost his Qualification round bout 0-7 to Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov.