Deepak Punia clinches quota for Tokyo Olympics

[Nur-Sultan: Reigning junior world champion Deepak Punia (86kg) acknowledges his supporters after defeating Switzerland’s Stefan Reichmuth in the semifinals of World Wrestling Championship 2019, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. ( /PTI]

Nur-Sultan (Kazakhastan), Sep 21 : Junior World Champion Deepak Punia on Saturday became the fourth Indian wrestler to secure a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by entering the semi-finals of the ongoing World Wrestling Championships.

Deepak stormed into the last four of the 86-kg freestyle category after beating Colombian grappler Carlos Mendez 7-6 in the quarter-finals.

Before that, he had thrashed Kodirov Bakhodur of Tajikistan 6-0 in the pre-quarters.

Earlier, in his first round contest, he had staged a remarkable comeback to recover from a 0-5 deficit to win 8-6 against Kazhakstan’s Adilet Davlumbayev.

Deepak will now face Stefan Reichmuth of Switzerland for a place in the finals.

Earlier in the championships, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya all won bronze medals in their respective categories and secured berths for the Tokyo Olympics.

/IANS

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