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Indian wrestlers: Five of six Indian wrestlers out of Olympic-quota contention


Belgrade: India’s men’s freestyle wrestlers cut a sorry figure at the World Championships as five of the six Olympic quota contenders have dropped out of the prestigious competition with only Abhimanyu able to make it to the medal in the non-Olympic weight class 70 kg. More disappointingly, the Indian wresters lost to competitors from nations not known for their wrestling prowess, raising doubts about their fitness before flying to Belgrade.

Sachin Mor (79kg) lost his repechage round by technical superiority to Ahmad Magomedov of North Macedonia and Anuj Kumar (65kg) could not even clear the Qualifying round, losing 7-8 to Austin Klee Gomez of Mexico.

Mexico and North Macedonia are not the nations that the Indians are expected to lose their matches against.

It is learned that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has advised the Sports Ministry to conduct a medical examination of the selected wrestlers before sending them for participation, saying that many of them may have injuries.

“Several of the selected wrestlers are injured, especially a 65kg freestyle wrestler. I suggest a medical examination before leaving India so that necessary replacements can be made in time,” WFI General Secretary VN Prasood wrote to the Sports Secretary in September . 11 in his letter, a copy of which is in possession of PTI.

India’s top hope Aman Sehrawat (57kg) had lost to Zelimkhan Abakarov, the world champion of Albania, in the quarterfinals but the Russian-born wrestler failed to reach the final, closing the repechage door on the Indian. In the 70kg bronze rematch, Abhimanyu lost by technical superiority to Arman Andreasyan of Armenia. Akash Dahiya (61kg), Naveen (74kg), Sachin Mor (79kg), Sandeep Singh Mann (86kg), Pruthviraj (92kg), Sumit (125kg) all fell at various stages of the competition.

Sahil is competing in 97kg, which is an Olympic weight category.

All the Indian wrestlers are competing as neutral athletes as the world governing body UWW did not allow them to compete under the Indian flag.

This was because the UWW suspended the WFI after the ad-hoc committee appointed by the IOA, headed by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, conducted the elections on time.

Even if any of the Indian wrestlers earn the quotas, they will be members of IOA and with the wrestler who wins a place in next year’s Olympics.

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