UWW Ranking Series: Men's freestyle wrestlers return empty-handed
Indian freestyle wrestlers returned empty-handed from the UWW Ranking series as Ravi Dahiya pulled out and other wrestlers lost their bouts.
Mulayam Yadav and Pankaj lost their bronze play-offs as the Indian men's freestyle team will return empty-handed from the Bishkek Ranking Series event on Sunday.
Mulayam could not make the final as he lost the last-four clash 0-7 to Uulu and later, Pankaj lost his bronze medal bout 1-6 to Turkey's Emrah Ormanoglu.
Moving to the 70kg semifinals was Mulayam Yadav, who comfortably beat Kazakhstan's Doszhan Asetov 9-4 in his qualification round and followed that up with a confident 6-2 win over Georgia's Davit Patsinashvili. Yadav's defense stood out during his quarterfinal bout.
He later lost his semifinal 1-7 to local favorite Orozobek Toktomambetov.
In the bronze medal match against Turkey's Servet Coskun, he was trailing 1-6 but logged five straight points to tie the score. However, he lost the match on criteria since Coskun had a bigger throw to show -- a four-pointer.
In the 61 kg category, Pankaj set up a quarterfinal clash against U-23 world champion Aman Sehrawat with a confident 8-2 win over Gerogia's Giorgi Goniashvili. It was Aman, winner of bronze in the Zagreb Open in February this year, who was the favorite to win this all-Indian clash but Pankaj emerged a surprise winner with a comfortable 8-1 margin.
Pankaj was quick with his counter-attacking moves and it rattled Aman. He could not make the final as he lost the last-four clash 0-7 to Uulu and later, Pankaj lost his bronze medal bout 1-6 to Turkey's Emrah Ormanoglu.
In 65kg, a category which Bajrang Punia has made his own, Anuj Kumar lost a close pre-quarterfinal 6-7 to Azerbaijan's Ali Rahimzada.
India did not send any entries for the 74kg, 79kg, and 92kg competitions.
India has won four medals so far in the tournament. The women wrestlers won three medals on Saturday while one came through Greco-Roman grappler Manjeet.
Earlier in the day, Olympic silver medallist wrestler Ravi Dahiya pulled out of the due to a knee strain.
Dahiya, who entered the 61kg competition, was up against Kyrgyzstan's Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu in the Qualification round. It was Dahiya's first competition since finishing sixth at the World Championship in Belgrade in September 2022. However, the 25-year-old wrestler from Nahri did not take the risk of aggravating his injury and opted out.
"Ravi has recovered from the right knee injury that he sustained in January this year but during the warm-up, he suffered a strain on the same knee. Since Asian Games trials are near, he decided to pull out of the event as he did not want to risk aggravating the injury," said a member of the Indian support staff.