London: The 19-year-old Amit Kumar is considered as the brightest among the upcoming wrestlers. A student of former Asian champion Satpal, the Delhi boy was expected to perform creditably in London.
Amit did not disappoint by reaching the repechage quarter-final round in the 55 kg. But, in the end, his lack of experience made the difference. His rival, Radoslav Marinov Velikov of Bulgaria, a veteran in the international circuit, came up with the right tactics to end Amit’s hopes with a clear 2-0 verdict.
Knowing the Indian youngster would be over enthusiastic to go for the kill, Velikov employed a defensive style in the key encounter. He wasn’t too keen to win points but waited for the right time. Amit, too, was unlucky to concede ‘clinches’ in both the rounds and suffered the ‘fall’. In the second round, Amit was hit in the eyes by the Bulgarian. The referee failed to notice the incident.
“He is a world ranked wrestler, far more experienced than me,” said Amit. “I couldn’t counter his tactics. I am young will get more opportunities. But overall, I am not happy with my performance. I came with well prepared and should have done better,” he said.
Amit was spot-on. He started on a bright note at the ExCel Arena by defeating Sabzali Rahimi of Iran 3-1 in the afternoon session. It was a creditable win considering the reputation of the Iranian, who was expected to finish in the medal bracket. Even team coach Yashvir felt Amit had a tough draw.
In the 74kg, Narsingh Pancham Yadav crashed out after losing his first-round bout to Canadian Matthew Judah Gentry.