Indian wrestlers’ bronze not enough for Olympic quota (Ld)

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) India’s Satyawart Kadiyan and Sumit Malik salvaged some pride by winning bronze medals in their respective freestyle weight categories after missing the cut for this year’s Tokyo Olympics in the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Almaty on Sunday.

Unimpressive in the morning session as he lost his semi-final bout in 30 seconds, Kadiyan defeated Turkey’s Saparov Zyyamuhammet 5-0 in his evening bout to grab bronze in men’s 97kg. In the semis he lost to Mohammad Hossein Mohammadian of Iran 0-10.

Malik beat Korea’s Kim Donghwan 5-0 to win bronze in men’s 125 kg. In the semis, he lost to Yusup Batirmurzaev of Kazakhstan 0-2.

However, Sandeep Singh Mann lost his bronze medal bout to China’s Menghejigam 4-14 in the men’s 74 kg.

The men’s team failed to win a quota place, but women wrestlers Sonam Malik and Anshu Malik booked berths for the Olympics by entering the finals of their respective weight groups. The top two in each of the weight groups in the men and women’s sections are allotted Tokyo Olympics quota places.

All those wrestlers who have missed the chance to earn Tokyo Olympic quota places in Almaty will have another chance to qualify for Olympics in the World Olympic qualifier from May 6 to 9 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The national team will also compete in the Asian Championships scheduled to be held in Almaty from April 13. The continental championships do not offer quota places.

India in the 2019 Olympic qualifying cycle had got three quota places in the men’s category through Bajrang Punia (65 kg), Ravi Dahiya (57 kg) and Deepak Punia (86 kg). In the women’s Vinesh Phogat (53 kg) had also won an Olympics berth in 2019.