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Rio wrestling hopefuls get useful exposure at Spanish Grand Prix

960   //    10 Jul 2016, 08:39 IST
Sandeep Tomar clinched a much-needed silver at the Spanish Grand Prix

It was a rare international tournament for the Indian male freestyle wrestlers as Sandeep Tomar, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Narsingh Yadav stepped onto the mat to secure crucial match practice just 4 weeks ahead of the showpiece event at Rio. And the results were mixed.

In the 57 kg category, the indefatigable Sandeep Tomar effortlessly reached the finals steamrolling past 3 opponents from Hungary, Iran and Canada in the process garnering 31 points without conceding even one.

But expectedly he met his match in the tough Mongol Erdenebat Bekhbayar and the experienced Mongol proved just a tad too strong for the inexperienced Indian falling victim to a couple of takedowns. Bekhbayar is 2014 World silver medallist and will be at Rio too.

The redoubtable Dutt had an off day at the office losing to the current Pan American Champion in the 57 kg. The Cuban had moved up two weight categories to 65kg. Difficult to comprehend what the experienced Dutt has taken out of this tournament. Seems he is more concerned about avoiding injuries before Rio.

Narsingh Yadav thrashed Canadian Phulka 7-0, but crucially lost the Cuban Lopez 4-7. Falling victim to a couple of takedowns Yadav could not bridge the gap in the second round as Lopez turned defensive. Lopez went on to win the tournament and Yadav steamrolled his Spanish and Russian opponents to win a consolation bronze.

Yadav needs to guard against moments of concentration lapses as stiffer tests await him at Rio. Points to ponder over for one of India’s strong medal hopes.Lopez would take a lot of confidence into Rio as he beat 3 of his prospective Rio opponents today, Yadav, Khadjiev, and Unurbat.

Vinesh Phogat, Babita Kumari, and Sakshi Mallik will be in action today and Ravinder Khatri too will ply his skills in Greco-Roman category.

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