You are here: Home » Sports » ICC T20 World Cup 2020 » News
Business Standard

Indian wrestlers make last attempt to qualify for Tokyo Olympics 2020

Handed an opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo Games at the fag end of his international career, veteran wrestler Amit Dhankar would go all out when he takes the mat along with 11 other Indians

Topics
2020 Tokyo olympics | Olympics | Wrestling

Press Trust of India  |  Sofia (Bulgaria) 

A woman pauses for photos next to the Olympic rings near the New National Stadium in Tokyo. Photo: AP | PTI
A woman pauses for photos next to the Olympic rings near the New National Stadium in Tokyo. Photo: AP | PTI

Handed an opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo Games at the fag end of his international career, veteran wrestler Amit Dhankar would go all out when he takes the mat along with 11 other Indians at the World Olympic Qualifiers, starting on Thursday.

The 32-year-old Dhankar is a three-time Commonwealth champion but he missed the big-ticket events because he struggled to go past Yogeshwar Dutt in 66kg category for most of his career.

His last big performance was a silver-medal show in 74kg at the 2019 Asian Championship held in Xian, China.

His hopes to make the cut for the Tokyo Games were dashed when he lost the trials but since national champion Sandeep Singh Mann came a cropper at the Asian Qualifiers in Almaty, the national federation gave Dhankar a chance to compete in Sofia.

Dhankar had finished second in the trials.

It is the last chance for all the wrestlers in the world to qualify for the postponed Tokyo Games.

As many as seven Olympic medallists will be in the fray in different categories at this event, where the two finalists will make the cut for the Games.

Dhankar would be desperate to make the most of the chance but his journey will be hard as the 74-kg bracket is packed with 36-wrestler, including Rio bronze medallist Soner Demirtas from Turkey, world champion Hetik Cabolov from Serbia and Slovakia's European champion Tajmuraz Salkazanov.

Adding to the challenge will be African champion from Nigeria, Ogbonna John, Asian champion from Kyrgyzstan Arsalan Budazhapov and the European champion from Belarus Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau.

Dhankar is agile on the mat but his rivals are superior by craft and that is what is going to make a difference.

The other free style Indians wresters in fray are 2018 CWG champion Sumit Malik (125kg), who recently got married, and Satywart Kadiyan (97kg).

Malik had a great chance to qualify from the Almaty event but squandered the opportunity. He still is India's best hope in this category and it won't be a surprise if Malik sneaks through.

In the women's competition, Seema Bisla (50kg) will be India's best bet.

Ever since Vinesh Phogat moved to the 53kg category, Seema has shown promise.

Winning a bronze medal at the recent Asian Championship must have boosted her confidence.

Nisha (68kg) and Pooja (76kg) have also just started their journey on the senior circuit at international level and will only gain by competing.

Pooja does not give up easily and had won bronze at both Asian events in Almaty recently.

Among India's Greco Roman wrestlers, all eyes will be on hard-working Asian champion Gurpreet Singh (77 kg).

Sachin Rana (60kg), Aashu (67kg), Sunil (87 kg), Deepanshu (97 kg) and Naveen Kumar (130 kg) complete the team.

Six Indian wrestlers have so far qualified for the Tokyo Games. In men's free style, Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) made the cut, while Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) qualified in women's category.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, May 05 2021. 13:32 IST