Abhimanyu entered the bronze medal playoffs but other Indian freestyle wrestlers had a disappointing day at the World Championships in Belgrade on Sunday. Abhimanyu entered the 70kg medal round through the repeat route. Abhimanyu, who had lost in the quarterfinals on Saturday, got a lifeline when American grappler Zain Allen Retherford, who had defeated him in the round of 16, reached the final. The replay takes effect for wrestlers who lose in the pre-quarterfinals or later. It gives the wrestlers a chance to revive themselves in the competition if the opponent they have lost to reaches the finals.
In the replay, Abhimanyu defeated Tajikistan’s Mustafo Akhmedov 3-1 to secure a place in the bronze medal round. He will face Armenian Arman Andreasyan.
However, Abhimanyu cannot secure a 2024 Paris quota place for the country as the 70 kg division is not an Olympic weight category.
Pruthviraj, in the 92kg category, defeated Moldovan grappler Ion Demian 6-4 in the qualifier before returning to the mat to defeat eighth-seeded Ermak Kardanov of Slovakia 6-1 in the pre-quarterfinals.
However, world No. 12 Pruthviraj lost 0-3 to Georgian wrestler Miriani Maisuradze in the quarter-finals of the non-Olympic category.
Maisuradze later lost 1–8 to Kazakhstan’s Rizabek Aitmukhan in the semi-finals.
In the 79 kg non-Olympic category, India’s top wrestler Sachin Mor beat Mexico’s Raul Israel Dominguez 8-3 in the opening round before going down to lower-ranked Akhmed Usmanov, who competed as a neutral athlete, winning on technical superiority.
Aman Sehrawat, who had asserted his supremacy in the men’s 57kg freestyle category during the national trials to clinch the World Cup spot, achieved a ‘victory by superiority’ (VSU) against Moldovan Igor Chichioi 11-0 in the first round before losing to the world No. 2 from Albania Zelimkhan Abakarov 11-0.
Sehrawat could get another opportunity to enter the bronze medal round via the replay route. If that happens, he could also win a ticket to Paris, as 57kg is an Olympic category.
In 74 kg, an Olympic category, 14th seed Naveen beat Tobias Portmann of Switzerland 12-6 in the opening round, but lost the next match to lower-ranked Arsalan Budazhapov of Kyrgyzstan 6-4.
(With the exception of the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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