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Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Ravi Kumar qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Sep 20, 2019

Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar sealed their berths in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo by reaching semifinals at World Wrestling Championships at Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan.

While Bajrang defeated North Korea’s Jong Son 8-2 in his 65 kg quarterfinal bout to earn his maiden Olympics berth, Ravi defeated Japan’s Yuki Takahashi 6-1 in the 57 kg quarters. But both the wrestlers lost in their semifinals bout, and failed to reach the final.

While Punia controversially lost to Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov 9-9 in the semifinal bout via criteria point - a four point move, Ravi also went down Russia’s Zavur Uguev 4-6. Both the wrestlers will compete for a bronze medal on Friday.

Punia was trailing 2-9 following a four-point move to Niyazbekov which was reviewed by the Indian grappler. The Kazakh wrestler received multiple warnings from the referee for fouls, but Punia was not awarded points, for the same. After the defeat, the Indian wrestler looked visibly miffed with the refereeing.

India have overall earned three Olympics qualification so far, with Vinesh Phogat earning the first win after winning bronze medal in 53kg on Wednesday.

In other results, Sakshi Malik was knocked out of medal contention after she lost 7-10 against Nigeria’s Aminat Adeniyi in Women’s 62 kg category.

Adeniyi lost her pre-quarter final bout, thus running Malik out of repechange bout. Divya Kakran, who also lost her opening bout, will not compete in repechange after Japan’s Dosho, against whom she lost, was ousted from the tournament, losing her quarterfinal bout.

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