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Kush wins first gold medal for India at Asian Youth Games

August 19, 2013 21:59 IST

Teen sensation Kush Kumar won India's first gold medal at the second Asian Youth Games after defeating Malaysia's Mohammad Syafiq Mohd Kamal in the men's singles squash competition, in Nanjing, China on Monday.

Chennai-lad Kush won 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7 against the Malaysian in the summit clash to cap off an impressive undefeated run in the quadrennial event.

Earlier, Abhishek Yadav settled for a bronze medal after losing his semi-final clash against China's Zhendong Fan 2-4 in the table tennis men's singles competition.

Yadav went down 4-11, 13-11, 13-11, 4-11, 8-11, 5-11 in 44 minutes to his higher-ranked opponent.

Kush KumarThis is India's fourth medal in the ongoing edition of the Games after M Kavita Devi and T Lalchhanhima had won a bronze each in girl's judo and boy's weightlifting category on the first day of the competition.

The 17-year-old Kush started off well with an aggressive pace but was being caught time and again by Syafiq's delicate drops and some awesome deceptive play.

The top seed Indian, however, narrowly managed to win the first game.

The second was an almost one-sided affair with the second seed Syafiq putting the ball away at will.

In the third, Kush was 8-3 down but changed to a simple basic game at medium pace. One massive rally and Syafiq surrendered easy points and the game.

Kush maintained the same medium-paced basic game to take the fourth game and clinch the gold medal in 57 minutes.

"I had to push very hard when I was 3-8 in the third game but I was able to keep my focus and win. I want to thank my coaches at the Indian Squash Academy and the federation for all their support," said an elated Kush after the match.

National coach Cyrus Poncha was equally ecstatic and said, "It is truly a great achievement for India winning a gold medal at these games. I am sure we are only going to get better."

Image: Kush Kumar

Photograph courtesy: Asian Youth Games, Nanjing 2013

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