He ended the gold drought for the country in the 87 kg category of Greco Roman by overpowering Azat Salidinov of Kyrgyzstan 5-0. Before this feat Pappu Yadav's gold medal winning record remain in record books for over two and half decades.

Sunil with his comprehensive defence was able to keep Salidinov at bay for most of the bout. Salidinov didn’t have an answer to the strategy of Sunil and finally went down pretty easily.

Earlier, Sunil gave home fans a lot to cheer as he chalked out a dramatic come from behind win over Azamat Kustubayev of Kazakhstan in the semi-final. The Indian at one stage trailing 1-8 stunned his opponent and thrilled the supporters as he clinched 11 points on the trot to claim the bout 12-8.

In 2019 also Sunil made it to the finals and ended with his first silver medal. In the finals of 87kg, Rome Ranking Series silver medallist Sunil will play against Azat Salidinov from Kyrgyzstan.

Sunil Kumar after the win said, “I am feeling happy to have earned India’s first Gold Medal today. I have worked really hard on my ground techniques and it feels good to have done better than my last year’s performance.”

Before Sunil’s historic gold medal win, Arjun Halakurki (55kg) won his Bronze Medal bout defeating Donghyeok Won of Korea. Arjun started the bout slowly and was down by 1-4 in the first period. But, Arjun didn’t give up and came back strongly snatching six straight points with a combination of good defence and attack. The final score at the end of the bout was 7-4 in favour of Arjun.

Though, India’s third medal hope Mehar Singh (130 kg) suffered a setback today as he lost his bout against Roman Kim of Kyrgyzstan by a narrow scoreline of 2-3. Mehar was majorly suffering the aftereffects of his wrist injury which he suffered in his semi-final bout earlier.

Mehar Singh also lost out his last four bout. Up against Minseok Kim of Korea, Mehar lost out tamely to the Korean by 1-9 margin. Mehar made it to the Indian team at the last minute. Just 3 days before the Asian Wrestling, India’s number one in 130 kg, Naveen pulled out of the event due to injury. Mehar replaced Naveen and won his opening bout against DALER RAKHMATOV of Uzbekistan.

In the first qualification bout of the day, Sajan who was one of India’s big medal hopes lost in a disappointing manner. He was pitted against Under 23 Asian Champion of 2019 Renat Iliazuulu of Kyrgyzstan in the first round. The Indian could not match the initial onslaught of Iliazuulu and lost out 6-9.

Sachin Rana (63kg) faced a massive loss against Elmurat Tasmuradov by a margin of 8-0. He was then pitted against Yernur Fidakhmetov of Kazakhstan where he could not muster much of a challenge and went down 6-3 in his Repechage bout.

Other Results ( all Indians on DAY 1 )

Quarterfinals – Arjun Halakurki (India) defeats Tuorki Ali (KSA) 10-2
Semi-finals – Arjun Halakurki (India) lost to Pouya Mohammad (Iran) 7-8
Last 16 – Sachin Rana (India) beat Tynar SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) 6-0
Last 8 – Sachin Rana (India) lost to Elmurat Tasmuradov (UZB) 0-8
Last 16 – Sajan (India) lost to Renat Iliazuulu (KGZ) 6-9
Last 8 – Sunil Kumar (India) beat Takahiro Tsuruda (Japan) 8-2
Semis – Sunil Kumar (India) beat Azamat Kustubayev (KAZ) 12-8
Last 8 – Mehar Singh (India) beat DALER RAKHMATOV (Uzbekistan) 4-0
Semis – Mehar Singh (India) lost to Minseok Kim (Korea) 9-1