Indian freestyle wrestlers will return from the World Championships empty-handed

Indian freestyle wrestlers cut a dismal record at the world championships as none of them managed to get a quota for next year’s Paris Olympics or win a medal.

Even more disappointing, the Indian wrestlers lost to opponents from nations not known for their wrestling prowess, raising doubts about their fitness ahead of their flight to Belgrade.

Sachin Mor (79kg) lost to North Macedonia’s Ahmad Magomedov by technical margin in the repechage, while Anuj Kumar (65kg) failed to even clear the qualifying round, losing 7-8 to Mexico’s Austin Klee Gomez.

Mexico and North Macedonia are not nations against which the Indians are expected to lose their matches.

It is learned that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has suggested the Sports Ministry to conduct a medical examination of the selected wrestlers before sending them to participate, saying that many of them may have injuries.

“Several selected wrestlers are injured, especially the 65kg freestyle wrestler. I suggest a medical check-up before leaving India so that the necessary replacement can be made in time,” WFI general secretary VN Prasood wrote to the sports secretary in September. 11 in his letter, a copy of which is in PTI’s possession.

India’s top hope Aman Sehrawat (57kg) lost to reigning world champion Zelimkhan Abakarov of Albania in the quarter-finals, but with the Russian-born wrestler failing to make it to the finals, the door to a rematch closed for the Indian.

In the play-off for bronze up to 70 kg, Abhimanyu lost by technical advantage to Armenian Arman Andreasyan.

Akash Dahiya (61kg), Naveen (74kg), Sachin Mor (79kg), Sandeep Singh Mann (86kg), Pruthviraj (92kg), Sahil (97kg) and Sumit (125kg) all fell at different stages tournament.

The next opportunity to earn an Olympic quota will be next year at the Asian and World Qualifiers.

All Indian wrestlers compete as neutral athletes as the world governing body UWW did not allow them to compete under the Indian flag.

This was because the UWW suspended the WFI after an ad-hoc committee appointed by the IOA, headed by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, could not conduct the elections on time.

Even if any of the Indian wrestlers – women or Greco Roman – get the quotas, they will belong to the IOA and the wrestler who qualifies for next year’s Olympics.

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Ferdinand Medina

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