World Wrestling Championship | India medal-less as four men bow out in freestyle wrestling

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World Wrestling Championship | India medal-less as four men bow out in freestyle wrestling

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SportsCafe Desk


Sandeep Tomar, Deepak, Sumit Malik and Harphool Gulia lost in freestyle wrestling in their respective weight categories to continue India's dismal run at the World Wrestling Championship. The men started on a positive note winning their initial rounds but faltered to go past the pre-quarters.

India's disappointing run at the World Wrestling Championships 2017 in London continued as the Indian contingent remained medal-less on day 5 of the competition. After the Roman-Greco wrestlers and freestyle women's category, it was the men's freestyle wrestlers to take to the mat and the day started with Deepak taking on Masao Matsusaka of Japan in the 86kg category. The Indian grappler started positively but squandered his lead to eventually trail and lose the match 5-2.

Sumit Malik suffered the same fate in the 125kg category, losing his initial bout 4-0 to Anzor Ruslanovitch Khizriev of Russia. Both the grapplers, unfortunately, were not given a chance to compete again according to repechage as their respective opponents failed to reach the finals. 

Harphool Gulia made a strong start to his campaign defeating Elmedin Sejfulau 8-0 in the 61kg category. However, Gulia was unable to replicate his commanding form in the round of 16 against European bronze medallist Cengizhan Erdogan of Turkey and bowed out 10-0.

Rio Olympian Sandeep Tomar was the last to take on the mat in the 57kg and came out all guns blazing in his opening round against Zavur Uguev of Russia and took him out 8-2 to advance to the pre-quarters. However, Tomar, like his other compatriots was unable to win his round of 16 bout against Yuki Takahashi of Japan even after leading 3-2 at the end of the first period.

After the game resumed in the second period, the Japanese scripted a fairytale comeback into the match, getting hold of Tomar's legs and turning him six times to win 14-3. However, Tomar's run in the competition did not end there as the Japnese made his way to the finals and the Indian wrestler was pulled back by the means of a repechage keeping India's hopes of a first medal at the competition alive.

Tomar cashed in the opportunity and overcame Canda's Aso Palani to set up a contest against world bronze medallist Bekhbayar Erdenebat of Mongolia. The Mongolian blanked Tomar 10-0 to destroy India's hopes of winning a medal on day five of the competition.

India's hopes now rely on Bajrang Punia, Amit Dhankar, Praveen Rana and Satyawart Kadian, who will be the last of the Indian contingent on Saturday. Bajrang Punia's match will be the focal point of the competition as he is a world bronze medalist from 2013 and the reigning Asian champion in the 65kg.

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