India's Greco-Roman wrestlers fail to win Olympic quota place


Sofia, May 8 : India's chances of earning an Olympic quota place in men's Greco-Roman wrestling at the ongoing World Olympic qualifiers evaporated on Saturday as two heavyweights, Gurpreet Singh and Sunil Kumar, crashed out early in the tournament. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had selected a six-member squad for the Greco-Roman event at the World Olympic qualifiers, which is the last competition to offer an Olympic quota place. Only finalists in each of the weight categories are allotted tickets to Japan. Chief coach Hargobind Singh was hoping Gurpreet would enter the final in men's 77 kg in Sofia and win a ticket to Japan. After winning his opening match against Daler Reza Zade of Tajikistan, the Indian wrestler lost his pre-quarterfinal match to Rafig Huseynov of Azerbaijan 0-8 to crash out of the competition. Gurpreet had also failed to grab an Olympic quota place in men's 77 kg at the Asian Olympic qualification tournament last month in Almaty. Asian champion Sunil Kumar was also expected to win a berth at Olympics. But he lost his pre-quarterfinal match to Russia's Davit Chakvetadze 2-3. In the 60 kg category, Sachin Rana lost his opening bout to Maksim Kazharski of Belarus while Ashu suffered a 3-8 defeat at the hands of Aliaksandr Liavonchyk from Belarus in the pre-quarterfinals of men's 67 kg. He is also out of race. In the 97 kg event, Deepanshu lost his first round match to Spain's Jesus Gasca Fresnada 3-7. In men's 130 kg, India's Naveen Kumar couldn't compete as he tested positive for Covid-19. India have won eight Olympic quota places in freestyle, including four in women's category. /IANS


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