Tokyo medallists Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya eliminated from Paris Olympics race


Bajrang Punia
Image Source : PTI Bajrang Punia at Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou

Tokyo Olympics medallists Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya were on Sunday eliminated from the race for the Paris Olympics. The two wrestlers lost their respective bouts in selection trials for the national team, which resulted in their elimination.

Punia lost the semifinal in the men’s freestyle 65kg to Rohit Kumar, while Ravi Dahiya lost to a rising star Aman Sehrawat in the men’s 57kg. Punia was mauled 1-9 in the semifinal. The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials were looking to get his dope test but he huffed and did not stay for the third-fourth place bout.

Bajrang managed an escape against Ravinder (3-3 on criteria) in the first round. Had Ravinder not lost a caution point, he would have been eliminated pretty early. Sujeet Kalakal would now be striving for qualification as he has won a place in the Indian team. Sujeet defeated Rohit in the final.

Notably, Ravi Kumar lost the high-scoring bout to Sehrawat 13-14 who has been pretty impressive in recent times. In Dahiya’s absence, Aman has won almost all tournaments in 2023. He will now represent the nation at the Olympic Qualifiers. Only Antim Panghal has given India a quota in the Paris Olympics until now.

Indian team for the Asian Qualifiers:

  1. Aman Sherawat – 57kg
  2. Sujeet Kalkal – 65kg
  3. Jaideep – 74kg
  4. Deepak Punia – 86kg
  5. Deepak Nehra – 97kg
  6. Sumit Malik – 125kg

More to follow…


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