Image for representation only© AFP

Ankush settled for a silver after being overpowered by formidable Yui Susaki but Vikas (72kg) and Nitesh (97kg) won their bronze medal play-offs with ease as India’s Greco Roman wrestlers cherished their best ever show at a global event by winning three medals at the U-23 World Championship, in Pontevedra, Spain. Ankush had a herculean task at hand as she was up against reigning Olympic and world champion and eventually she proved no match to Susaki as the Japanese pinned the Indian in less than two minutes in the women’s 50kg final on Thursday. Susaki created history with this win as she became the first wrestler to win wrestling’s ‘Grand Slam’.

She now has won gold medal at the Olympic Games, and has four world titles — U17, U20, U23 and senior championships.

Vikas and Nitesh added to India’s tally on Wednesday night, a day after Sajan Bhanwala broke the barrier with country’s first ever medal in the championship when he claimed a bronze in the 77kg category.

Vikas blanked Japan’s Daigo Kobayashi 6-0 in the bronze bout while Nitesh beat Brazil’s Igor Fernando Alves de Queiroz by techincal superiority. The result came when only six of India’s 10 Greco Roman wrestlers secured visas to travel to Spain for the prestigious championship. Four others were denied visa. The Embassy denied visa to 21 Indian wrestlers overall.

Vikas led 1-0 after scoring a point on passivity of his rival. He had got a chance to score more points but defended well from ground position.

In the fast-paced second period, Vikas pushed his opponent out of the mat for one more point. He made it 4-0 with a take-down on a counter attack and followed that up with a gut wrench move to make it 6-0.

Vikas stayed strong in his defence too and maintained his lead in the remaining 100 seconds of the bout to ensure a walk up to the podium.

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