Silver for Ankush; Vikas and Nitesh win bronze in India’s best show at U23 Worlds Greco Roman | TUSEN

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Ankush settled for silver after being overpowered by the formidable Yui Susaki, but Vikas (72kg) and Nitesh (97kg) easily won their bronze medal playoffs as India’s Greco-Roman wrestlers put on their best-ever showing at cherished a global event by winning three medals at the U-23 World Championship, in Pontevedra, Spain. Ankush had a huge task ahead of her as she faced reigning Olympic and world champions and ultimately proved to be no match for Susaki as the Japanese pinned the Indian in less than two minutes in the women’s 50kg final on Thursday. Susaki made history with this win as she became the first wrestler to win wrestling’s ‘Grand Slam’.

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She has now won a gold medal in the Olympics and holds four world titles: U17, U20, U23 and senior championships.

Vikas and Nitesh added to India’s tally on Wednesday night, a day after Sajan Bhanwala broke the barrier with the country’s first-ever medal in the championship when he claimed bronze in the 77 kg category.

Vikas defeated Japan’s Daigo Kobayashi 6-0 in the bronze medal fight, while Nitesh defeated Brazilian Igor Fernando Alves de Queiroz by technical superiority. The result came when only six of India’s 10 Greco-Roman wrestlers were granted visas to travel to Spain for the prestigious championship. Four others were denied a visa. The embassy denied a total of 21 Indian wrestlers a visa.

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Vikas led 1–0 after scoring a point on his rival’s passivity. He had a chance to score more points, but defended well from the ground.

In the lightning-fast second period, Vikas pushed his opponent one more point out of the mat. He made it 4-0 with a takedown on a counterattack and followed that up with a heartbreaking move to make it 6-0.

Vikas also remained strong in his defense and maintained his lead in the remaining 100 seconds of the fight to ensure a walk to the podium.

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