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Asian Wrestling Championships: Harpreet Singh, Sachin Sahrawat take India’s Greco-Roman medal count to five

Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers won a total of five bronze medals at this year’s Asian Championships after drawing a blank last year.

Harpreet Singh and Sachin Sahrawat won a bronze each as Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers concluded their campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2022 with five medals in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Wednesday.

A former Asian Championships silver medallist, Harpreet Singh defeated Korea’s Sejin Yang 4-2 in the quarter-final before going down to Iran’s Rasoul Sadegh Garmsiri in the semis by fall in the 82kg weight category. In the bronze medal match, Harpreet Singh was declared the winner after Jafar Khan from Qatar suffered an injury.

The remaining four Greco-Roman wrestlers – Gyanender (60kg), Sachin Sahrawat (67kg), Vikas (72kg), and Ravi (97kg) – in action on Wednesday, meanwhile, lost in the quarter-finals.

However, Sachin Sahrawat, who lost to eventual finalist Meiirzhan Shermakhanbet of Kazakhstan, a former world championships bronze medallist, by fall, came back strongly against Uzbekistan’s Mahmud Bakhshilloev to clinch the bronze medal.

The Indian scored a victory by fall over his Uzbek opponent in the dying seconds while trailing 3-1 to claim the podium.

Gyanender, who won bronze in the Yasar Dogu ranking series earlier this year, was beaten by two-time Asian medallist Mehdi Mohsen Nejad from Iran via technical superiority in the quarter-final. But with Mehdi making it to the summit clash, Gyanender entered the bronze medal play-off.

However, Japan’s Ayata Suzuki proved to be too strong for Gyanender as the Indian was blanked 11-0 in India’s first medal match of the day.

Ravi suffered a 3-1 loss to Uzur Dzhuzupbekov of Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-final and Vikas lost to Uzbekistan’s Mirzobek Rakhmatov via technical superiority. Neither wrestler made it to the bronze medal round.

Earlier on Tuesday, three Greco-Roman wrestlers – Sunil Kumar (87kg), Arjun Halakurki (55kg) and Neeraj (63kg) – had won bronze medals for India in their respective weight divisions. Overall, 10 Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers participated in the continental showpiece.

At the last edition, Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers failed to win any medals.

Indian women’s freestyle wrestlers will begin their campaign at the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championships on Thursday.

Indian men’s freestyle wrestlers, including Tokyo Olympic medallists Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Bajrang Punia, will take the mat on Saturday.

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