In his Olympic debut, Richmonds Arjan Bhullar placed 13 in the 120-kilogram mens freestyle wrestling division.
The 26-year-old only gave up one point in each round, but was unable to score a point in his first-round loss to Irans Komeil Ghasemi.
Ghasemi continued to win bronze overall, but by not snagging gold, he affected Bhullars opportunity to qualify for the repechage matches a second chance for wrestlers to fight another opponent and, perhaps, increase their scores.
For him to be there, representing Canada, representing wrestling was huge, said Amit Sandhu, general manager of Am-Pri Construction Ltd., who officially sponsored Bhullar. I think he set a new bar for other Canadian wrestlers. He was the only Canadian in his division. Im sure well be seeing more Canadian wrestlers come out because of this.
Sandhu, along with friends and family, gathered around the TV set in anticipation for Bhullars match early Saturday morning. Even though Bhullar didnt reach the podium, Sandhu said just seeing Bhullar on the screen filled him with pride.
It was pretty amazing to see him there in the Opening Ceremonies, Sandhu said. There were about 180 Canadian athletes and there he was right in the front, representing Richmond.
The partnership between the two men was something that resonated for both of them, as both strive to be positive role models and active members of their community, said Sandhu.
Hes not only a wrestler, but a role model for the community, for youth and other athletes. Hell inspire the next generation for sure.
Sandhu was inspired to support amateur athletes after the experience of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
We not only saw what it meant, but also felt the impact and the spirit, he said. It made us want to invest more in local amateur sports, which is generally something thats overlooked.
Bhullar was set to return from London Tuesday afternoon. He was the first Canadian of South Asian descent to qualify for freestyle wrestling in the Olympic Games, and brought home the gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.
He was also Canadian Wrestler of the Year in 2009 and holds a bronze from the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil.
© 2015 Richmond News
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