Sunil Kumar, Arjun Halakurki, and Neeraj of India won bronze medals in their respective weight divisions on the first day of the Asian Wrestling Championships 2022 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Tuesday. Sunil, a previous Asian champion, won bronze in the 87kg category by defeating Batbayar Lutbayar.
Sunil had earlier staged a comeback to overcome Japan's Masato Sumi 5-3 in the quarterfinals. On the other hand, he was defeated 0-8 in the semi-finals by former world championships bronze medalist Jalgasbay Berdimuratov of Uzbekistan.
Arjun Halakurki won India's first bronze medal of the day in the 55kg division, defeating Mongolia's Davaabandi Munkh Erdene 10-7. Arjun had a 7-1 lead and was on his way to victory, but he had to endure a late scare.
Initially, in round one, Arjun overcame Iran's Ali Naser 10-5, but then lost 10-1 in the quarter-finals to eventual finalist Amangali Bekbolatov of Kazakhstan, and therefore joined the bronze medal play-off under the repechage system.
In the 63kg weight class, Neeraj defeated Islomjon Bakhramov of Uzbekistan 7-4 in the next bronze medal match for India. After leading early in the match, Neeraj lost 10-4 to Kyrgyzstan's Tynar Sharshenbekov in the quarterfinals. However, because Sharshenbekov advanced to the division final, Neeraj was relegated to the bronze match.
The day's remaining two Greco-Roman wrestlers, Sajan (77kg) and Prem (130kg), were unable to win gold. In the quarterfinals, Sajan was defeated 8-0 by Kazakhstan's Maxat Yerezhepov, but he advanced to the bronze match, where he was defeated 11-1 by Japan's Kodai Sakuraba. Meanwhile, Prem was defeated 5-0 in qualification by Iran's Amir Mohammadali Ghasemimonjazi.
Gyanender (60kg), Sachin Sehrawat (67kg), Vikas (72kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg), and Ravi (97kg), the last five Greco-Roman wrestlers, will compete on Wednesday. On Saturday, India's Olympic medalists from Tokyo, Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Bajrang Punia, will compete in the men's freestyle weight divisions.