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Aman Sehrawat, Deepak Punia to lead India at Asian Olympic qualifiers

The wrestling trail winners will represent India at the Asian Olympic qualifiers, while the runners-up will compete at the Asian Championships.

Aman Sehrawat, Deepak Punia to lead India at Asian Olympic qualifiers

Freestyle Wrestler Aman Sehrawat


Pritish Raj

Updated: 11 March 2024 4:08 AM GMT

Sonipat: Asian Games medallist Aman Sehrawat and Olympian Deepak Punia will lead India’s challenge at the Asian Olympic qualifiers for wrestling at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Aman emerged victorious in the 57kg category while Deepak dominated the 86kg men's freestyle wrestling trials at SAI Centre in Sonipat, Haryana, on Sunday.

Aman Sehrawat reigns supreme

U23 world champion Aman fought in a tough field of 57kg featuring Olympic medallist Ravi Dahiya and U20 Asian champion Udit.

The 57kg trial was conducted in the Nordic system which is a round-robin format as only seven wrestlers registered for the trials.

Aman and Ravi were drawn into the same group. They came across each other in the second bout. After defeating Udit 12-4 in the first round, Aman faced his Chhatrasaal Stadium senior in the second.

Ravi started with a lead of 4-2 but Aman dominated him throughout the first half and 12-4 at one point. However, Ravi started mounting his comeback and took nine consecutive points only to lose by one point in the end.

After his tough battle with Ravi, Aman didn’t stop and went on to beat Udit (who earlier eliminated Ravi) within 75 seconds in the final bout.

Deepak Punia dominates

Tokyo Olympian Deepak Punia put up a strong show in the 86kg category and triumphed without much trouble. Starting off with a 4-1 win in the quarterfinals, Deepak faced Sandeep Singh in the final.

Deepak started on the back foot as Sandeep attacked with the whistle and took a 4-0 lead.

However, Asian Games medalist Deepak made a solid comeback to win the bout 9-4 and booked his ticket to the Asian Olympic qualifiers.

Sujeet wins the most anticipated contest

National champion Sujeet Kalkaji emerged victorious in the 65kg category consisting of multiple world championships medalists Bajrang Punia.

As Bajrang has been knocked out in the semifinals after losing to Rohit, Sujeet overcame a tricky opponent in Anuj.

After defeating him, Sujeet was up against Rohit in the final and used a ‘fitle’ move to take eight points in the first 48 seconds and then comfortably won the trials.

Earlier last month, Sujeet also won the national championships conducted by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) appointed ad-hoc committee in Jaipur.

Jaideep (74 kg), Deepak (97 kg), and Sumeet (125 kg) are the other wrestlers who will be sent for quota places at the Asian Olympic qualifiers.

As per the directive of the ad-hoc committee, the winner of each particular category will go for the Asian Olympics qualifier and World Olympics qualifier while the runner-ups will go to the Asian Championships.

In men’s Greco Raman, Asian Games medallist Sunil Kumar will lead India’s challenge at the Asian qualifiers.

Indian Squad for Asian Olympic qualifiers:

Men’s Freestyle: Aman (57), Sujeet (65), Jaideep (74), Deepak Punia (86), Deepak (97), and Sumeet (125).

Men’s Greco-Roman: Sumeet (60), Ashu (67 kg), Vikash (77), Sunil Kumar (87), Nitesh (97), and Naveen 123

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