New Delhi: When Amit Kumar finally called up his mother from Budapest on Tuesday morning, there was no joy in his voice. Waiting for the phone call since last night, Amit’s mother, Sheila Devi, could hardly feel that her son had won a silver medal in the World Wrestling Championship only a few hours ago.
“He was extremely disappointed and kept on repeating how narrowly he missed winning the gold medal,” she said. “He was upset with the referee’s decision. Finally, I had to cheer him up by saying winning a silver at this age was a huge achievement.”
When contacted in Budapest, Amit told The Telegraph he was yet to get over the disappointment of defeat against Iran’s Hassan Farman Rahimi in the final of the 55kg freestyle. “I was confident of winning, but some of the decisions by the referee marred the whole show. I could not sleep throughout the night and finally managed to sleep for a while during the day today (Tuesday).”
Coach Virender Kumar, who accompanied the 24-member Indian team to Budapest, was livid. “I couldn’t believe that Amit lost. This Iranian wrestler was beaten hands down by Amit in the London Olympics”
Amit said he was cheered on by every member of the Indian squad during the final on Monday. “After the final, everyone said I gave of my best in the whole championship. Even Sushil bhaiya (Kumar) said he was proud of me. Only if I won the gold,” Amit rued.
According to Amit and his coach, the 19-year-old Indian wrestler, known for his aggressive display, was penalised for defensive play under the new rule. “It was ridiculous. I was far more aggressive than the Iranian wrestler. Why the referee pulled me up was beyond my understanding,” Amit said.