Greco-Roman wrestlers draw blank in Asian Olympic Qualifiers

Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), April 21 (IANS): Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers returned empty-handed from the Asian Olympic Qualifiers as none of the six participants managed to secure a Paris Olympic quota place on Sunday.

A total of 36 quotas in three styles, 12 in each, were up for grabs in the competition. The winner of the semifinals in each Olympic weight class earned an Olympic quota for their countries. There were no gold and bronze medal bouts as well as no repechage rounds.

Five of the six Greco-Roman wrestlers -- Sumit (60kg), Ashu (67kg), Vikas (77kg), Nitesh (97kg), Naveen (130kg) -- lost in the first round.

Sunil (87kg) was the only Indian wrestler who was able to win a bout as he defeated Japan’s Soh Sakabe 5-1 in the qualification round, before going down 2-4 against the reigning Asian Games champion Jalgasbay Berdimuratov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinal.

In all 17 Indian wrestlers were in the hunt for quota places at the Asian Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers. Of which, only three women wrestlers -- Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Reetika Hooda (76kg) -- succeeded in securing quota places for India.

Male freestyle wrestlers also failed to bag a quota place. Olympian Deepak Punia (86kg) and Sujeet (65kg) were not allowed to compete as they arrived late for weigh-ins in Bishkek after they were stuck in Dubai due to heavy rainfall in the region.

After they were ruled out, India had only four competitors in the fray of which only Aman Sehrawat (57kg) came close to a qualifying spot.

After starting his campaign by defeating Kazakhstan’s Yerassyl Mukhtaruly by technical superiority, defeated Kim Sunggwon 11-1 by technical superiority in the quarterfinals, before losing to Uzbekistan’s Gulomjon Abdullaev in the semifinal.

Jaideep, in men's 74kg, was eliminated in the quarterfinals while Sumit too lost at the same stage in the men's 125kg division. Indian wrestler Deepak lost to Japan’s Arash Yoshida in the first round.



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Title: Greco-Roman wrestlers draw blank in Asian Olympic Qualifiers

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