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Ramesh Kumar wins but fails to advance

August 27, 2004 21:53 IST

India's freestyle wrestler Ramesh Kumar went out of medal contention despite winning his second bout, against European No 4 Zhirayr Hovehannisyan of Armenia 3-1, in the 66kg category Pool C elimination round at the Olympic Games in Athens on Friday.

The 22-year-old former Asian Championship runner-up in the 69kg class put up a creditable performance against his fancied opponent but could not make it to the knock-out quarter-finals following his 1-3 defeat to Greece's Apostolos Taskoudis in his first round-robin bout.

The Indian finished 10th in the overall standings among 21 wrestlers.

The host country's wrestler had actually lost to the Armenian in his bout 1-3, leading to a three-way tie in the number of wins and the Greek went through by virtue of having collected 16 classification points as compared to Kumar's 11 and Hovehannisyan's 13.

Taskoudis will meet Atlanta Games bronze medallist (62kg) Elbrus Tedeyev of Ukraine for a place in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Anuj Kumar's compatriot Palwinder Singh Cheema went down fighting 4-6 to Poland's Marek Garmulewicz in the 120kg competition.

The Indian strongman was out-grappled by Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan, the silver medallist (130kg) at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the reigning world champion in the 120kg class, on technical superiority when Cheema was down 0-10 in only the second minute.

Another Indian competitor, Yogeshwar Dutt, lost his second successive bout in the 55kg class by bowing to defending champion Azerbaijan's Namig Abdullayev 2-6 in Pool D.

The Azerbaijan grappler, who had taken silver in the 1996 Games in Atlanta, had suffered a shock loss to Japan's Chikara Tanabe in his opening fight and, as a result, could not advance as the Japanese had beaten Dutt also by a 3-1 margin.

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