Sunil Kumar bowed out in the pre-quarterfinals against Aleksandr Andreevitch Komarov of Russia. With that, India’s best hope for a medal at the U23 Wrestling World Championship almost ended on Monday.
Sunil Kumar’s hope for finally winning a medal at the U23 Wrestling World Championship will come when he squares off in repechage. He will fight against reigning Asian champion Naser Ghasem Alizadeh of Iran on Tuesday. This is his fourth appearance in the competition.
The Indian wrestler began his campaign in 87kg impressively. He defeated Croatia’s Filip Smetko in qualification. However, the winning momentum was short-lived after he fell against Komarov in round 16.
In the 55kg weight category, debutant Arshad was thrashed in the opening round against 2021 U23 European Championship silver medallist Adem Burak Uzun. The Turkish wrestler got the better of Indian grappler’s inexperience and sealed a comfortable 7-1 victory.
Neeraj also suffered the same fate of 63kg. He faced a formidable opponent in the 2019 World Championship, bronze medallist Ali Reza Nejati of Iran. The Indian lost 9-0 on technical superiority.
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Sajan, another big name of India’s U23 contingent also failed to impress. He went down 9-0 on technical superiority against Ukraine’s Dmytr Vasetskyi in qualification of U23 Wrestling World Championship.
On Tuesday, Ashu will be the wrestler to watch out for. The 2020 Asian Championship bronze medallist will face Ignazio Sanfilippo of Italy in 67kg qualification round.
U23 Wrestling World Championships Day 1 results (Greco-Roman):
Aleksandr KOMAROV (RUS) df. Kumar SUNIL (IND) by 6-2
Dmytro VASETSKYI (UKR) df. Sajan (IND) by 9- 0
Adem Burak UZUN (TUR) df. Arshad ARSHAD (IND) by 7-1
Ali Reza Ayat Ollah NEJATI (IRI) df. Neeraj NEERAJ (IND) – 9-0
The U23 Wrestling World Championship will be telecast live on WrestlingTV.in.
Qualifications and repechage rounds will begin at 3pm IST. Meanwhile, the medal rounds will be held at 10:30 pm IST.