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Aman, Sujeet one win away from Paris Games quotas, Deepak Punia eliminated

No Indian male wrestler has yet qualified for the Games and this is the last chance to secure berths.
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 17:02 IST
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 17:02 IST

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Istanbul: Deepak Punia was eliminated from the Paris Olympic Games qualification race following his crushing first-round defeat but young Aman Sehrawat and Sujeet Kalkal got closer to securing quotas by reaching the semifinals at the World Qualifiers, here Saturday.

No Indian male wrestler has yet qualified for the Games and this is the last chance to secure berths.

Aman, the U23 world champion and also the senior Asian Championship title winner, was expected to put up a strong show and the 20-year-old did not disappoint.

He logged points comfortably in both his bouts, winning 10-4 against Georgi Valentinov Vangelov before overpowering Ukraine's Andrii Yatsenko.

Yatsenko was quick but Aman proved too strong for him. Locked several times in arm-locks, Aman found ways to attack his rival's right leg and converted them into take down moves. He won by technical superiority, without conceding a single point against the Ukrainian.

He will now fight it out with North Korea's Chongsong Han.

Punia (86kg), who had missed a bronze medal at the Tokyo Games by a whisker, bumped into a very powerful Zushen Lin from China in his first bout and ended up losing 4-6 despite taking the lead.

Punia, the most experienced wrestler in the Indian squad, was quick with his attack in the first period, which he ended with a 3-0 cushion.

However, the Chinese turned the tables on the Indian, beginning with a double-leg attack which he converted into a takedown move for two points. He rolled Punia to make it 4-3.

Running out of time, Punia was quick with his moves and looked for a two-pointer near the edge of the circle but the referee awarded a push-out point. The Chinese was still ahead on criteria. He ended Punia hopes with another takedown.

The Chinese later lost his quarterfinal, closing the repechage route for the Indian.

Sujeet, who competes in a category which the celebrated Bajrang Punia had made his own, expectedly put up a fighting show, winning 3-2 against Uzbekistan's Umidjon Jalolov and followed that up with a technical superiority victory against Korea's Junsik Yun.

Tougher test awaits Sujeet in his category as he takes the mat against Mongolia's formidable Tulga Tumur-Ochir, the Asian Games champion and Asian Championship silver medallist.

In the 74kg weight class, Jaideep Ahlawat pulled off a stunning four-pointer double-leg attack after trailing 1-3 to win 5-3 against Moldova's Vasile Diacon and move into the pre-quarterfinals.

He also won his next bout by technical superiority against Austria's Simon Marchl but lost his quarterfinal tamely 0-3 to Slovakia's Taimuraz Salkazanov. He remains in contention though. If the Slovakian reaches the final, Jaideep will get a chance via the repechage route.

Earlier during the day, Deepak (97kg) and seasoned Sumit Malik (125kg) lost their first-round bouts. PTI AT AT PDS PDS

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Published 11 May 2024, 17:02 IST

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