Asian Wrestling Qualifiers: 2 bronze medals and no Olympic slot for the Indian Greco Roman wrestlers
The semifinals proved to be an achilles heel for the Indians as five out of the six grapplers faltered in this round to have their Tokyo dream crushed.
All the six Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers who were in fray to earn a Tokyo Olympic slot today failed to do so at the Asian Wrestling Qualifiers in Almaty today.
The semifinals proved to be an achilles heel for the Indians as five out of the six grapplers faltered in this round to have their Tokyo dream crushed. Though two of them managed to clinch a consolation bronze medal for themselves, it did not matter as the Olympic qualification was reserved for the top two players in each weight division.
60kg: Gyanender misses out on podium finish by a whisker
Representing India in the 60kg division was Gyanender who registered an easy 10-0 win by technical superiority over Jui Chi Huang of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. He failed to maintain the momentum though, as he went lost 1-6 to Kyrgyzstan's Zholaman Sharsehnbekov in the semifinals.
Gyanender seemed to be in control against Hanjae Chung of South Korea in the bronze medal match but lost a hard-fought bout 3-4, to return without any medal.
67kg: Ashu wins India's first medal at Asian Wrestling Qualifiers
The 20 year old from Haryana, Ashu registered a 5-3 win over Qiye Tian of China in the quarterfinals, before losing out to Mohammadreza Geraei of Iran 0-9 on technical superiority in the semifinals.
The Indian came back strong in the bronze medal match as he registered an easy 8-1 win over Sheroz Ochilov of Tajikistan to win India's first medal at the Asian Wrestling Qualifiers.
77kg: Gurpreet clinches bronze as opponent withdraws due to injury
Competing in the 77kg division, Gurpreet Singh started off with a bang as he registered a victory by fall over the 2012 London Olympics champion, Kim Heyon-woo of South Korea. The 26 year though failed to turn up in the quarterfinal against Akzol Makhmudov as the Kyrgyzstani registered an easy 8-2 win over the Indian.
Gurpreet did not have to take the mat for the bronze medal match as his opponent Rabie KA Khalil of Palestine withdrew from the match owing to an injury and handed the bronze medal to the India.
87kg: Sunil fails to impress
One of India's best bet in the Greco-Roman event, Sunil Kumar failed to impress at Almaty. Though he notched up a 7-0 victory over Tajikistan's Sukhrob Abdulkhaev in the quarterfinals, the 28 year old fell short in the semifinals to lose 9-5 after leading the bout at some point of time against the Kazak Nursultan Tursynov.
Sunil's performance kept dipping as the day went, as he lost 1-10 on technical superiority to the Japanese Masato Sumi in the bronze medal match of the 87kg weight division.
97kg: A winless stint for a clueless Ravi
Competing in the 97 kg division, Ravi Rathi was the only Indian who failed to make it to the semifinals in the day. He lost his quarterfinal bout to Kyrgyzstan's Uzur Dzhuzupbekov 0-9 on technical superiority.
But, the Kyrgyzstani's progress to the finals meant that the Indian got a shot at the bronze medal match. Rathi though failed to put up anything noteworthy as he lost 1-3 to Seyeol Lee of South Korea in the bronze medal watch to return winless from Almaty.
130kg: Naveen flatters to deceive
Competing in the 130kg weight division, Naveen had a torrid start to the day losing his first round bout 0-9 on technical superiority to Muminjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan. But he bounced back in the following rounds, registering a 3-1 victory by points over Japanese Arata Sonoda and a 6-3 win over Roman Kim of Kyrgyzstan.
Just when it looked Naveen would be the one to book a Tokyo slot for India, he lost his composure and went down 1-7 to Minseok Kim of South Korea in the semifinals.
The bronze medal match too was nothing special for Naveen as he lost to Lingzhe Meng of China 1-5 to end his campaign at Almaty with nothing to show for.