In the men's 125 kg freestyle class on Wednesday at the World U20 Wrestling Championships 2022 in Sofia, Bulgaria, Mahendra Babasaheb Gaikwad of India took home the silver medal. India won its first silver medal at the current competitions, adding to four bronze medals won earlier.
Amirreza Fardin Masoumi Valadi of Iran, the 2021 Cadet World Champion, outclassed Mahendra Babasaheb Gaikwad, who won silver in the juvenile Asian championships in Bahrain in July (13-2). Earlier, in the quarterfinals, Mahendra Babasaheb Gaikwad defeated Adil Misirci of Turkey, who had won the bronze medal in the under-23 European Championships, by a narrow score of 6-4.
After defeating Namoz Abdurashidov of Uzbekistan 6-0 in the semifinals of the U20 global wrestling championships, the Indian wrestler from Maharashtra advanced to the 125 kg final. Mohit Kumar (61 kg) and Sagar Jaglan (74 kg) both earned bronze on Wednesday in addition to Mahendra Babasaheb Gaikwad's silver, bringing India's total number of medals at the World U20 Wrestling Championships 2022 to seven — one silver and six bronze.
Mohit Kumar got off to a strong start by defeating Kazakhstan's Maiis Aliyev, who had won the bronze medal at the U20 Asian Championships, 10-4 in the quarterfinals. However, Yuto Nishiuchi of Japan won the finals 16-8, defeating Mohit Kumar, who had previously placed second at the seniors Zouhaier Sghaier Ranking Series in Tunisia last month.
The bronze medal match was won by Mohit Kumar as he defeated Jeyhun Allahverdiyev of Azerbaijan 7-0. In the meantime, Sagar Jaglan achieved a significant victory by defeating Iran's Erfan Mohammad Elahi, the current U20 Asian champion, 10-5 in the quarterfinals. To settle for bronze, Sagar Jaglan blanked Kazakhstan's Iliyas Yerbolatov by technical superiority (10-0) despite losing to Ryunosuke Kamiya of Japan 9-2 in the semifinals.
In the semifinals of the women's wrestling competition, reigning cadet world champion Priya (76 kg) defeated Hungary's Veronika Nyikos, the U20 European champion, with a score of 6-5 to advance to the gold medal match. Priya knocked off Alina Yertostik of Kazakhstan in the first round before defeating Melisa Saritac of Turkey 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
On Thursday, Priya and Ayano Moro of Japan will compete in the final. Manju (55 kg) and Priyanshi Prajapat (50 kg) will compete for bronze. For Thursday's bronze medal play-offs, Bhagyashree Hanumant Fand (59 kg) and Arju (68 kg) will need to prevail in the repechage rounds.