New York: India’s Sushil Kumar earned an Olympic berth and also kept himself in contention for a medal in the 37th world wrestling championship at the Madison Square Garden here by reaching the semi-finals.
Another Indian grappler Sujeet Maan also made it to the Athens Olympics 2004, although he lost in the 70kg quarter finals to Hadi Habibi of Iran in 3 minutes and 41 seconds.
Kumar will take on Azerbaijan’s Abdullaev Arif Yadulla for a place in the final in the 60kg category while in the other semi-final Cuban Yandro M. Qunitana Ribalta will challenge Jae-Myug Song of South Korea.
Kumar beat Georgia’s David Pogosian 6-3 in the quarter finals to advance into the medal round.
The Indian touched peak form in the elite event overpowering his opponents with ease starting with the racy win over Aliaksandr Karnitski of Belarus in the first round. The Indian pinned his opponent to the mat in less than three minutes.
Kumar then beat Aram Margaryan of Armenia by technical fall in the third round 12-0 again before overpowering Kamal Ustarkhanov of Russia 6-0 in pre-quarter finals. (PTI)