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India ends World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers 2024 campaign with two quotas for Paris

Published at :May 14, 2024 at 6:42 AM
Modified at :May 14, 2024 at 6:42 AM
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(Courtesy : SAI Media)

Ajay Gandhar

India will have only one male wrestler competing at the Summer Olympics.

The Indian wrestling contingent concluded their campaign at the World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers 2024 in Istanbul, Turkiye with two quotas for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Aman Sehrawat (men’s 57kg) and Nisha Dahiya (women’s 68kg) were the wrestlers who secured Olympic berths for India.

Sehrawat, the reigning Asian champion and U23 world champion, attained India’s first Paris quota in men’s freestyle wrestling on Saturday. Dahiya grabbed the second quota for India on Friday, taking the total number of slots obtained by Indian women wrestlers to five.

However, India’s hopes of adding more quotas were dashed on the final day as Sujeet Kalkal (men’s 65kg) and Jaideep Ahlawat (men’s 74kg) suffered losses in their respective bronze medal bouts.

Kalkal reached the semi-finals on Saturday but went down against Mongolia’s Tomor-Ochiryn Tulga, the reigning Asian Games champion. In Sunday’s bronze medal playoff, the Indian grappler lost 2-2 on criteria to USA’s Zain Retherford.

Ahlawat, who entered the repechage rounds after a quarter-final defeat, narrowly missed out on the bronze after a 2-1 loss to Turkiye’s Soner Demirtas. He had earlier secured an 11-0 win over Turkmenistan’s Arslan Amanmyradov in the repechage.

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The Istanbul event marked the final opportunity for wrestlers across the globe to book their tickets to Paris 2024. A total of 14 Indian grapplers competed at the qualifiers from May 9-12.

Notable absentees from the Indian team included Tokyo Olympics medallists Bajrang Punia (bronze, men’s 65kg) and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (silver, men’s 57kg).

Before Istanbul, Vinesh Phogat (women’s 50kg), Anshu Malik (women’s 57kg), Antim Panghal (women’s 53kg), and Reetika Hooda (women’s 76kg) had secured Paris quotas at various qualifying events.

While quotas have been ensured, the final selection of Indian wrestlers for the Paris Olympics remains subject to approval by the national Olympic committee.

India, however, failed to bag any quota in the Greco-Roman wrestling category as Sunil Kumar bowed out in the repechage rounds of the men’s 87kg division in Istanbul.

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