first_imgIt was a saga of guts and glory. Rajender Kumar made light of a bleeding nose as he fought off Pakistan’s Azhar Hussain to win the wrestling gold in the 55kg Greco Roman at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.Rajinder KumarThe 24-year-old from Kurukshetra was struggling to fight off the tears as the national anthem was being played at the prize-distribution ceremony. After the triple gold on Tuesday, this was yet another good outing for the Indians.Manoj Kumar had to settle for silver in the 84kg category while Dharmender Dalal (120kg) and Sunil Kumar (66kg) earned bronze medals. “Winning a gold at the CWG was high on my priority and am happy that I could win it,” Rajender said. Rajender, who is employed as a ticket collector in the railways, had won a silver at the Asian championships in Delhi. On Wednesday in the final against Pakistan’s Azhar, Rajender raised his game when it counted. Azhar was fast and attacked relentlessly from the onset. It was here that Rajender’s quick feet came to his rescue. In both the rounds, Rajender had the edge. Some of his throws were a treat to watch and send the partisan crowd into a frenzy.In fact, Azhar became physical and accidently landed a jab which resulted in the Indian bleeding from his nose. Undeterred, he stuck to his tactics and managed to pocket the gold. “He (Azhar) was very tough. He just kept coming at me and I had to bring out my best to defeat him. This gold is all the more memorable as I was able to win at home,” Rajender said. National coach of the Greco Roman team, Hargobind Singh, felt the key to Rajender’s win lay in his excellent defence. “He was able to ward off most of Azhar’s attacks.advertisementTo me his tactics were spot on,” Hargobind said. In the 84kg category, Manoj was unlucky to lose the final to Nigerian Joe Agbonavbare. The Indian was technically superior but Joe made up with his grit. He attacked Manoj from the start and put the Indian under a lot of pressure. After losing the opening round, Manoj, egged on by the crowd, took the fight to the Nigerian. He convincingly won the second and just when it seemed the Indian would fight his way to gold, Joe came up with some quick and aggressive stuff.Realising that attack was the only way for him, he surprised Manoj with some superb throws to win the gold. “After winning the second round I was pretty confident about my chances. But then he (Joe) played very well to put me on the defensive,” Manoj said. Sunil, the odds on favourite in the 66kg category, had to be content with bronze after losing the semi-final to England’s Myroslav Dykun. The Ukraine-born Dykun was far superior for the Indian. Later in the evening, Sunil came up with a much better display to defeat Cory O’Brien of Australia.last_img