No joy for India's Greco-Roman wrestlers at World Champs

With Olympic quotas up for grabs, Indian wrestlers fail to deliver on the big stage.

The Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers’ disappointing run at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships continued as three grapplers who took to the mat on Sunday could not advance in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

While Manish (67kg) and Sunil Kumar (87kg) were ousted in the first round by their respective opponents, Ravi R (97kg) managed to win his opening bout before losing out to Artur Omarov of Czech Republic in the following round.

False dawn

In his opening bout against Chinese Taipei’s Cheng-Hao Chen, Ravi forced his opponent on to the mat quickly to earn two points at the start. Later in the second round, he kept the advantage going and pressed Chen in difficult positions to earn a few more points through gut wrench to win the bout 5-0.

While in the opening bout the Indian showed some signs of promise, all that soon evaporated as he was blanked by Omarov in the Round of 16 fight.

The Czech wrestler registered a comfortable 7-0 victory by fall with Ravi unable to read his opponent's moves and respond in time to negate his attempts to score. Omarov, meanwhile, lost out in the quarterfinals to the 2018 bronze medallist, Mikheil Kajaia of Serbia.

Damp squib

In the other two bouts that had Indians in action, there were no such instances as both Manish and Sunil surrendered rather meekly to their respective opponents.

Up against American Josef Rau in the 87kg category, Sunil tried his best in the second round, but the six-point deficit from the opener was too much to cover for the silver medallist from the Asian Wrestling Championship earlier this year.

The first round saw Rau dominate the proceedings as he started with two points from pushing the Indian out of bounds. Later in the dying seconds, the American managed to turn Sunil over to garner four more points to make it 6-0.

Rau, meanwhile, went on to lose his Round of 16 bout to Mikalai Stadub of Bulgaria, thus ending Sunil’s hopes for a repechage.

No match

Early in the day, in the 67kg category, Manish was outclassed by another Bulgarian, Deyvid Dimitrov. 

Though it was the Indian who opened the scoring with Dimitrov being penalised for passivity, Manish couldn’t do much despite being on top of his opponent at the restart. 

The Bulgarian soon made amends to his strategy in the second round and the result was there for everyone to see. Forcing a point from the Indian for being passive to draw level, Dimitrov did exceptionally well to inflict two takedowns, worth five points each, as he flipped Manish over his head to settle the tie in his favour. The Bulgarian won 10-1 on technical superiority. 

Meanwhile, Dimitrov lost his quarterfinal bout to Fredrik Bjerrehuus of Denmark, thus ending India’s chances of a repechage.

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