Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar was defeated by Azerbaijan’s Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev in the opening round of the men’s freestyle 74kg category in the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan on Friday, September 20.
Using all his experience, the wily Indian had raced to a 9-4 lead but conceded seven points in a row to his opponent to lose his 74kg qualification round bout 9-11.
The Azerbaijani wrestler later lost his quarterfinal bout to USA’s Jordan Ernest Burroughs, resulting to Sushil’s ouster from the championship.
The 36-year-old two-time Olympic medalist has been struggling for long as he had made a first round exit from the 2018 Asian Games as well.
He recently returned to the mat for the first time since his defeat in Jakarta when he competed at an event in Minsk, Belarus where he had finished fifth.
Sushil is the only Indian to have won a world title when he triumphed in 2010 in Moscow.
In the other category which offered Olympic qualification on Friday, Sumit Malik lost his 125kg first round bout 0-2 to Hungary’s Daniel ligeti, who later lost in quarterfinals.
So far, India has clinched two Olympic quotas through Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Ravi Dahiya (57kg).
In the non-Olympic categories, Karan lost his 70kg Qualification bout 0-7 to Ikhtiyor Navruzov and was ousted wen the Uzbek lost his quarterfinal.
In 92kg, Parveen won his first bout by technical superiority against Korea’s Changjae Su but later lost 0-8 to Ukraine’s Liubomyr Sagaliuk. Sagaliuk’s defeat in quarterfinals shut the repechage door on the Indian.