Grapplers Satywart Kadian, Sumit clinch bronze for India at Asian Olympic Qualifiers; fail to secure Tokyo Olympics berth

None of the Indian men's freestyle wrestlers made it to Tokyo Olympics from Asian Qualifiers
None of the Indian men's freestyle wrestlers made it to Tokyo Olympics from Asian Qualifiers

India’s male freestyle grapplers cut a sorry face once again as none of the three could make the Tokyo Olympics cut on the final day of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Almaty on Sunday. Satywart Kadian (97kg) and Sumit (125kg) did finish with bronze medals but that wasn’t enough to ensure them the passage to the Tokyo Olympics.

The other Indian in the fray on the day Sandeep Singh Mann (74kg) was ousted in the semis. Out of 14 spots on offer for the Indians, only two managed to secure Tokyo Olympic berths when Anshu Malik and Sonam Malik triumphed in their women’s semifinal bouts on April 10.

However, the Indian wrestlers will once again get a chance to make it to the Tokyo Olympics through the World qualifiers in Sophia, Bulgaria from May 6-9. Sandeep’s loss also means two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who missed the national trials, still stands a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in Bulgaria next month in the 74kg weight category.

India's Sandeep Singh Mann lost in 74kg semifinals

Touted as the best bet for India in the freestyle category, Sandeep started with a bang beating Qatar’s Abdullrahman Ibrahim 11-0 in the qualification match. He followed up with a 6-2 quarterfinal win against Tajikistan’s Gulomdzhon Sharipov.

However, the Indian faltered when it mattered the most. In the semifinals, Sandeep was undone by Iran's Yones Aliakbar Emamichoghaaei 0-10 by technical superiority.

In the 97kg, Kadian too started the day with a 6-2 defeat of Korea’s Minwon Seo. But the Indian could not continue his momentum losing to Iran’s Mohammadhossein Askari Mohammadian 0-10 by technical superiority in the semifinals. The bout lasted just 30 seconds.

However, in a consolation for India, Kadian defeated Zyyamuhammet Saparov of Turkmenistan to win the bronze. In the 125kg category, Sumit started with a 7-0 demolition of Uzbek Makhsud Veysalov but lost 0-2 in the semifinal to local wrestler Yusup Batirmurzaev.

In the bronze medal bout, Sumit defeated Korean Donghwan Kim to earn some respite. So far, India have secured six Olympic quota places. Apart from Anshu and Sonam, the others who have qualified are Bajrang Punia (65kg), Ravi Dahiya (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg and Vinesh Phogat (women’s 53kg).

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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