Pooja Gehlot settles for a silver; Sajan Bhanwal to aim for bronze at Under-23 World Wrestling Championships

Harpal Singh Bedi  

Pooja Gehlot

New Delhi:  Pooja Gehlot (53kg) bagged  India’s second silver medal   while three-time World Junior  Championships medallist Sajan Bhanwal (77kg) lost a close semi-final bout in Greco Roman event at the U-23 World Wrestling Championships  in Budapest, Hungary on Friday

Both lost their respective bouts to the Japanese rivals. Pooja  went  down 0-2 to Japan’s 2017 world champion Haruna Okuno. While  Sajan Bhanwal (77kg) lost a close semi-final bout 4-5 to  Kodai Sakuraba. He will now fight for the bronze on Saturday.

 Bhanwal had earlier blanked Jesse Alexander Porter 6-0 in the qualifiers to move into the pre-quarter-finals, where he notched up a 3-1 win over Azerbaijan’s Tunjay Vazirzade. .One of the best Greco-Roman talents to have emerged from India,  he then rushed into the semi-finals on the back of a strong 6-2 win over Per Albin Olofsson of Sweden.

 However other Indians in  Greco-Roman  events flopped . Arjun Halakurki entered repechage even after his good run in 55kg came to an end in the quarter-finals when he narrowly went down 12-14 to Emin Narimanovitch Sefershaev of Russia. But with the Russian making it to the summit showdown, Halakurki got another chance.

Earlier he had beaten Giovanni Freni of Italy 13-9 in the qualifiers and Sebastian Kolompar of Serbia 9-0 in the pre-quarter-finals.

Sunil Kumar advanced from the 87kg qualifiers to the pre-quarter-finals by sheer dint of his 7-2 victory over Algeria’s Sid Azara. In the next round, he was shown the door by Ukraine’s Semen Novikov in a 0-8 loss.

In 63kg, Rajeet had it tough against top seed Slavik Galstyan and went down 0-8 in his opening bout. In 130kg, Deepak Poonia could not make much of an impact and succumbed to a 1-6 defeat at the hands of USA’s David Tate Orndorff in the qualification round.


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