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Aman Sehrawat becomes first Indian male wrestler to secure quota for Paris Olympics 2024

Published at :May 12, 2024 at 1:14 AM
Modified at :May 12, 2024 at 1:14 AM
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(Courtesy : SAI Media)

Ajay Gandhar

Deepak Punia and Sumit bowed out of the tournament.

Aman Sehrawat put in a commanding performance to become the first male wrestler from the country to secure a quota place for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The 20-year-old from Haryana was in stellar form at the Wrestling World Olympic Qualifiers in Istanbul on Saturday.

In the 57kg freestyle category, the world no. #8 lived up to his high billing with an aggressive and tactically superior display. He began by overpowering Bulgaria’s Georgi Vangelov 10-4 in his opening bout. Sehrawat then dismantled Ukraine’s Andrii Yatsenko, winning by a comprehensive 12-0 margin via technical superiority without conceding a single point.

The marquee clash came against North Korea’s Asian Games silver medalist Chongsong Han in the all-important qualification bout. Sehrawat displayed tremendous defensive skills and counter-attacking prowess to prevail 12-2 in an utterly dominant performance.

He raced to a 3-2 lead after a tight first period. However, Sehrawat ran riots in the second, executing takedowns and rolling Han thrice with his trademark leg-lace move to surge ahead.

He may have to face compatriot Ravi Dahiya, the Tokyo Olympics silver medalist, in trials to secure India’s entry in 57kg.

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In the 65kg category, Sujeet Kalkal lost 1-6 to Mongolia’s Tulga Tumur-Ochir in the semifinals. The 20-year-old now needs to win two bouts on Sunday to join Sehrawat in qualifying.

However, Tokyo 2020 86kg bronze medalist Deepak Punia suffered a major setback, losing 4-6 to China’s Zushen Lin in his opening bout. Since the Chinese wrestler lost later, Punia’s hopes of qualifying through the repechage route were dashed.

Jaideep Ahlawat (74kg) remains in contention after losing his quarter-final 0-3 to Slovakia’s Taimuraz Salkazanov. He can still qualify via repechage if Salkazanov reaches the final.

The other Indian wrestlers in action – Deepak (97kg) and Sumit (125kg) – were eliminated after losing their respective opening bouts.

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