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Asian Wrestling Championships: India win three bronze medals in Greco-Roman on opening day

Sunil Kumar, Arjun Halakurki and Neeraj won medals while Prem and Sajan made early exits.

Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers Sunil KumarArjun Halakurki and Neeraj won bronze medals in the respective weight divisions on the opening day of the Asian Wrestling Championships 2022 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Tuesday.

Sunil Kumar, a former Asian champion, beat Batbayar Lutbayar 9-1 for bronze in the 87kg category.

Earlier, Sunil Kumar scripted a comeback to defeat Japan’s Masato Sumi 5-3 in the quarters. However, Sunil Kumar lost to former world championships bronze medallist Jalgasbay Berdimuratov of Uzbekistan 8-0 in the semi-finals.

In the 55kg category, Arjun Halakurki defeated Mongolia’s Davaabandi Munkh Erdene 10-7 to bag India’s first bronze of the day. Arjun was cruising to a win with a 7-1 lead but had to survive a late scare.

Earlier in the first round, Arjun defeated Iran’s Ali Naser 10-5 but then lost to eventual finalist Amangali Bekbolatov of Kazakhstan 10-1 in the quarter-finals and entered the bronze medal play-off via the repechage rule.

In the next bronze medal match for India, Neeraj defeated Islomjon Bakhramov from Uzbekistan 7-4 in the 63kg weight class. In the quarter-finals, Neeraj lost to Kyrgyzstan’s Tynar Sharshenbekov 10-4 after leading early in the bout. However, with Sharshenbekov making it to the final of the division, Neeraj made the bronze match.

The remaining two Greco-Roman wrestlers – Sajan (77kg) and Prem (130kg) – competing on the day couldn’t win medals.

Sajan suffered an 8-0 loss to Kazakhstan’s Maxat Yerezhepov in the quarter-finals but entered the bronze match, where he lost to Kodai Sakuraba of Japan 11-1. Prem, meanwhile, lost to Iran’s Amir Mohammadali Ghasemimonjazi 5-0 in the qualification and could not progress.

The remaining five Greco-Roman wrestlers Gyanender (60kg), Sachin Sehrawat (67kg), Vikas (72kg), Rio Olympian Harpreet Singh (82kg) and Ravi (97kg) will be in action on Wednesday.

India’s Tokyo Olympic medallists Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Bajrang Punia will take the mat on Saturday in the men’s freestyle weight divisions.

Photo : olympics.com

Website : olympics.com