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Which Indian wrestlers can secure Paris Olympics 2024 quota in World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers?

Published at :May 10, 2024 at 1:43 PM
Modified at :May 10, 2024 at 1:45 PM
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(Courtesy : @JATs_Land/X)

Abhiruchi Rout

India has sent 14-member squad to the Olympic qualifiers.

The World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers 2024, scheduled from May 9 to May 12, is the final qualifying opportunity for Indian wrestlers to secure quotas for Paris Olympics 2024. A 14-member squad is representing India in the tournament taking place in Istanbul, Turkey across men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s freestyle.

So far, India has bagged only four quotas in Wrestling, all of which have come from women’s freestyle. Antim Panghal (53kg), Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Reetika Hooda (76kg) earned these berths through the World Wrestling Championships 2023 and Asian Qualification Tournament 2024.

Notably, the best three wrestlers in each division will win quota places for their nations at the World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers 2024. With this, let’s look at the Indian wrestlers who can secure Paris 2024 for quota spots from the World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers 2024.

Nisha Dahiya (Women’s wrestling 68kg)

Nisha Dahiya is one of the wrestlers to look out for who will be competing for India in the women’s 68kg freestyle wrestling. She was impressive during the Asian Qualification Tournament as she won two of the three bouts she played, winning against Sol Gum Pak (8-3 victory by points) and Yelena Shalygina (10-0 victory by technical superiority).

However, one loss against the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Meerim Zhumanazarova (by fall) proved to be too costly for her. Despite having two wins, Nisha failed to advance to the semi-final round as Gum Pak and Zhumanazarova also had similar victories but prevailed to the next round due to higher points.

Having narrowly missed out on the quota place in the Asian Qualifiers, the 2023 Asian Championships silver medalist will aim to bring her top performance to the World Olympic Games Qualifier.

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Deepak Punia (Men’s freestyle’s 86kg)

Deepak Punia will be aiming to represent India in his second Olympic Games, having competed at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 where he faced a heartbreaking loss in the bronze medal match, losing the bout by 2-4 against Myles Amine of the Republic of San Marino.

Punia withdrew from the World Wrestling Championships 2023, the first qualifier for Paris Olympics 2024, for to train in Khasavyurt, Russia. The former World Junior champion also couldn’t compete in last month’s Asian Qualification Tournament due to being stranded at the Dubai Airport as he reached the tournament after the weigh-in was done and was thus denied entry.

However, the Commonwealth Games 2022 champion will attempt to make every opportunity count at the World Olympic Games Qualifier in the men’s freestyle 86kg class.

Aman Sehrawat (Men’s freestyle 57kg)

Aman Sehrawat is India’s biggest prospect to win a quota place at the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Istanbul. The 20-year-old Sehrawat narrowly fell short of winning the quota at the final stage of the Asian Olympic Games Qualifier held in Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.

Sehrawat won in a dominant style against Yerassyl Mukhtaruly of Kazakhstan and Korea’s Kim Sunggwon via technical superiority by a margin of 10-0 and 11-1 respectively in the qualification and quarterfinals of the tournament. However, he lost to Tokyo Olympian and Asian Olympic Qualifier 2021 gold medalist Gulomjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan by fall in the semis.

Sehrawat had earlier defeated the Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Ravi Kumar Dahiya at the Wrestling National trials in the group stage that took place in a Nordic system format as seven wrestlers had entered the competition.

In a close contest, the 2023 Asian Champion got the better of Dahiya by 14-13 and went on to eventually become the winner in the class to qualify for the Asian and World Olympic Qualifying tournaments.

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