Asian Olympic Qualifier: Freestyle wrestler returns empty-handed from Almaty

National champion Sandeep Singh Mann (74 kg) failed to qualify for the Olympic Games in the Asian qualifier in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Sunday, keeping veteran Sushil Kumar’s hopes of Tokyo in the weight category. Satyavrat Kadian (97 kg) and Sumit Malik (125 kg) were also out of qualification in the three-day competition held on Sunday.

Everyone has a chance to make the final chance to make the cut for the Tokyo Games in the World Olympic qualifier to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria from 6-9 May.

Sonam Malik and Anshu Malik were the young guns in Almaty who took the country’s quota of three in women’s wrestling.

Sandeep started beating Qatar’s Abdullrahman Ibrahim A. Ibrahim in the qualification match and then beat Gulomdzon Sharipov of Tajikistan 6–2.

However, in the all-important semifinal, Sandeep lost to Iran’s Yon Aliakbar Imamichogai by technical unity. He will now take on Mengzhen Meinhagen of China for the bronze medal.

Sushil, a two-time Olympic-medalist who did not compete in Almaty after missing the trials, could get one last chance book ticket for the Tokyo Games, which should be held starting July 23.

In 97 kg, Satyavrat Kadian defeated Korea’s Minwon Seo 6-2 and then lost in the semi-finals to Iran’s Mohammedosen Askari Mohammedian with technical superiority.


Sumit, on the other hand, beat Makhsud Weysalov 7–0 but lost 0–2 in the semi-finals to local wrestler Yusuf Batirmurjev.

In the men’s free style, Bajrang Punia (65 kg), Ravi Dahiya (57 kg) and Deepak Punia (86 kg) qualified for the Tokyo Games through the 2019 World Championships in Noor Sultan.

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