Indian grapplers continue to disappoint

Mausam Khatri (men's 96kg), however, despite suffering a 1-3 defeat at the hands of Kazakhstan's Taimuraz Tigiyev, can still win a bronze medal if he overcomes Syria's Alkarrad Raja and two others in repechage, at the Huagong Gymnasium.

The script was no different for Tomar (men's 120kg) as he lost to Kyrgyzstan's Aiaal Lazarev by an identical margin.

Lazarev was up 6-3 on technical points after the first period and added six more in the second to complete a total rout. Unlike Khatri, Tomar failed to earn a single technical point.

After an easy win over the Indian, Lazarev met his match in Uzbekistan's Artur Taymazov in the quarter-finals. The Kyrgys' 2-3 loss led to his exit and also dashed Tomar's hopes of entering the repechage.

Indian coach Jagmender Singh said that though Tomar's opponent was not very strong, he did not look fully fit.

The 29-yer-old, coming off a long knee injury lay-off, never finished higher than fifth in the Asian Championships, whose standard is not as high as the Asian Games.

Woman competitor Nirmala, too, lost 1-3 to Zhuldyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan after giving her opponent a scare by winning the second period.

Nirmala was down by a point in the first period but then grabbed four points, including a triple, with some adept grappling in the second. The Kazakh women, however, fought back strongly in the third to go through to the quarter-finals.

"Nirama fought well but her opponent was very strong," Jagmender explained.

Eshimova, however, found Korea's Kim Hyungjoo too hot to handle in the quarter-finals.
Yesterday, Asian champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Narsingh Yadav (74kg) made a shocking semi-final exit, while Pradeep Kumar (66kg) and Ram Vir (84kg) also met with a similar fate.

The display of the grapplers so far has been a far cry from their superb show in last month's Commonwealth Games in Delhi where they garnered ten gold, five silver and four bronze medals.

In the Doha Games four years ago, the Indian contingent had won a silver medal in women's wrestling.

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