India’s medal hopes suffered a major blow after Satish Kumar was comprehensively ousted from Tokyo Olympics 2020. Following a 0-5 defeat to Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov on Sunday, the Commonwealth Games silver medalist crashed out in the men’s super heavyweight boxing ( +91kg) quarterfinal. Ahead of the bout, Kumar was nursing an injury and put up a gutsy performance but could not match up to Asian champion Jalolov. After sustaining cuts in the pre-quarters, the valiant army man took the ring with multiple stitches on his forehead and chin. His score failed to reflect his brave fight as he could not move forward with medal contention in the event.
Jalolov, who dominated the proceedings throughout, could not resist lauding his rival’s spirited performance. Kumar’s Uzbeki opponent acknowledged the Indian boxer’s courage at the end of the bout. He wished the spunky Army boxer a speedy recovery on social media. On Twitter, Jalolov wrote, “You are a true warrior Satish Kumar. Get well soon brother.”
The 32-year-old stood his ground and showed his ‘India Army spirit. Occasionally, he managed to land a shot on Jalalov with his right hand. Blood oozed out from Kumar’s right eye on his opponent’s shoulder. Moved by his spirit of not giving up, the Uzbekistani gave Kumar a warm hug before he left the ring.
The Indian pugilist was given medical clearance by the doctors to compete in the QF bout. Despite carrying serious injuries, he fought the reigning world champion from Uzbekistan. The sportsperson might have lost the match but his lion-hearted show won the adulation of millions watching the bout. It’s rare for an athlete to find the most important moment of their career in a loss. But Kumar did that when he turned up against the world champion with 13 stitches through a gruelling showdown.