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Yasar Dogu International wrestling: India’s Gyanender wins Greco-Roman bronze

Rio Olympian Hardeep Singh, competing in 97kg, and Ashu, in 67kg, lost in the repechage round.

Indian Greco-Roman wrestler Gyanender won a bronze medal in the 60kg division on the opening day of the Yasar Dogu International 2022 ranking series in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday.

Gyanender won his first bout of the day – beating Marat Garipov of Brazil 7-3 in the quarter-final. However, he lost 5-0 against Turkish wrestler Ekrem Ozturk, a world championships medallist, in the semi-finals.

For the bronze medal, Gyanender was up against Azerbaijan’s Eldaniz Azizli, a 2018 world champion, who withdrew midway from the match due to injury. Gyanender was leading 2-0 at the time.

Rio 2016 Olympian Hardeep Singh was the other Indian wrestler to win a match on the opening day of the Istanbul meet.

Hardeep made the quarter-finals in the 97kg division after defeating Brazil’s Igor Fernando Alves De Queiroz 4-1 but suffered a heavy 8-0 loss to Finland’s Arvi Martin Savolainen, a former junior world champion and an Olympian.

But with the Finnish wrestler making it to the final of the division, Hardeep entered the repechage round.

However, Hardeep once again fell short and lost 8-1 to Kazakhstan’s Islam Umayev.

The remaining four Greco-Roman wrestlers – Sagar (63kg), Ashu (67kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), and Naveen (130kg) – couldn’t win their opening round matches.

Ashu suffered a narrow 2-1 loss to Morten Thoresen of Norway in his opening bout but entered the repechage round, where he lost out to Kaly Sulaimanov of Kyrgyzstan on technical superiority.

Sagar lost by fall to Asian champion Aidos Sultangali of Kazakhstan while Sunil Kumar lost to Turkey’s Ali Cengiz on technical superiority. Naveen, meanwhile, was defeated by Ali Nail Arslan of Turkey 7-1. None of the three made it through to repechage.

The remaining three Greco-Roman wrestlers Vikas (72kg), Sajan (77kg), Harpeet Singh (82kg) and women’s freestyle wrestlers Mansi (57kg), Sangeeta (62kg), Ritu (68kg) and Gursharanpreet Kaur (76kg) will be in action on Friday.

India’s top freestyle wrestlers Vinesh Phogat (women’s 55kg) and Bajrang Punia (men’s 65kg) will take the mat on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala

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