Ravinder in semi-finals of U-23 World Wrestling Championship

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi:  Putting up  commanding display, Ravinder  demolished  Russian National Freestyle Wrestling Championships bronze medallist Dinislam Takhtarov 11-0 to storm into the semi-finals of the  61kg category at  the  Under-23 World wrestling  Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday. .in his opening bout.

The 22-year-old from Jhajjar (Haryana) had thrashed Hungary’s Marcell Budai Kovacs 12-1 in his opening bout. Ravinder is aiming for his first medal from the championship after losing in the semi-finals in 2017.

Earlier in the day, Naveen was in action in 70kg repechage against Mongolia’s Temuulen Enkhtuya, who edged past him 8-6. The biggest disappointment for the Indian squad was, however, the loss of Vicky  in 92kg.

Having won the silver at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships and a bronze at the Junior World Championships this year, a lot was expected of  Vicky him. But he fell in his opening bout in 92kg when Switzerland’s Samuel Scherrer dismissed him 7-1.

In 74kg, Gaurav Baliyan made a fantastic start against Oleksandr Vyshniak of Ukraine in the qualifiers, whom he blanked 11-0. His challenge, however, came to an end at the hands of Russia’s Razambek Zhamalov.

Sanjeet could not get past Russia’s Azamat Zakuev, falling 0-6 in the qualifying bout in 86kg. Aryan Pratap fought hard in 125kg but was eventually shown the door in a 3-4 loss to top seed Hovhannes Maghakyan of Armenia.

World Junior Championships bronze medallist Veer Dev Gulia secured  his place in the bronze medal contest in 79kg .As the 18th seed in Qualifiers, Gulia was in top form as he defeated Hungary’s Botond Lukacs 3-1. With a strong 7-2 win over China’s Ligan Chai, he made it to the quarter-finals, where he was demolished   Mongolia’s Batzul Damjin 12-1.

However  the 22-year-old  India’s winning run  ended as he  lost to  Azerbaijan’s Abubakr Abakarov  8-1  in the semi finals. Gulia will now aim for the bronze today and his opponent is yet to be decided.

On the first day  three Indians had made it to the quarter-finals with the others being Sharvan (65kg) and Akash Antil (97kg), besides Gulia. 

 Second seed Sharvan,  showed his attacking intent against the top seed Rifat Saibotalov of Kazakhstan to secure a tight 8-6 victory in 65 kg category.. 

However the fancied Indian   lost to  France’s Ilman Mukhtarov 6-10  in the quarters, and  with the Frenchman failing to make it to the final, he  could not make it to repechage.

In 97kg, ninth seed Akash Antil dismantled China’s Li Xu 10-0 to start his campaign. In the last-eight, Ukraine’s Danylo Stasiuk inflicted a 9-5 defeat on him to dash his medal hopes.

In 57kg, Naveen crashed out in the qualifying round with an 0-11 loss to Turkey’s Ahmet Duman.

 More than 60 teams and 600 Under-23 wrestlers have participated in this prestigious tournament, where Men’s freestyle competition will be completed on the first two days followed by Women’s Wrestling, with the Greco Roman competition scheduled on the final three days.HSB

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