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Indian wrestlers bow out

By M R Mishra
Last updated on: August 28, 2004 17:54 IST
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Indian grapplers Sushil Kumar (60kg) and Sujit Mann (74kg) crashed out of competition without putting even a semblance of a fight to signal an abrupt end to the country's lukewarm challenge in the Olympic Games in Athens on Saturday.

World number four Sushil Kumar lost to Cuba's Pan-American champion Yandro Miguel Quintana 0-3 and was eliminated from the medal hunt. He has an inconsequential bout in hand against Ivan Djorev of Bulgaria later in the evening at the Ano Liossia Olympic Hall.

Djorev has already lost 0-3 to Quintana who, thus, advanced to the next round as the top grappler from Pool 'C'.

Mann, ranked eighth in the world, lost both his bouts to bow out of the competition. The 25-year-old lost to Japan's Kuhiniko Obata 0-8 in his first bout before going down against Cuba's Ivan Fundora 0-6.

Sushil was totally at sea against Quintana who notched two points in the first minute and gained another in the next to take firm control of the proceedings. The 21-year-old Indian, who became defensive thereafter, succeeded in not conceding any more points before eventually losing the bout 0-3.

Mann appeared lackluster against Japan's Obata, who was placed third behind the Indian silver medallist in the Asian Championships early this year at Tehran. He was outclassed thoroughly by the Japanese who picked up points quite easily right from the start.

The 24-year-old Obata scored his first point in the second minute and increased the lead by scoring twice in the third minute. Mann got trapped by his rival on the mat to concede two more points and a 0-4 lead at the end of the first session.

Mann was outdone by the strength of his rival after the resumption of the fight as Obata picked up four more points to emerge as a runaway winner.

Mann had little time to lick his wounds as he had his second bout scheduled against Cuban Fundora who also overpowered the Indian.

Fundora scored a point very early on and then grabbed two more to take a 3-0 lead at the break. Things progressed pretty much along the same lines in the second session in the one-sided contest, which ended Mann's all-too-brief campaign in the Games.

Other freestyle wrestlers Yoheshwar Dutt (55kg), Ramesh Kumar (66kg), Anuj Kumar (84kg) and Palwinder Singh Cheema (120kg) had already bowed out of the competition yesterday while Greco-Roman wrestler Mukesh Khatri (55kg) was exited earlier.

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M R Mishra
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