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Asian Wrestling Oly Qualifiers: Aman Sehrawat falls at last hurdle as India falters in freestyle

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Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), April 19 (IANS) Aman Sehrawat lost in the semifinals as India failed to bag any qualifying spots from the Asian Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers as hosts Kyrgyzstan (2), Japan (3) and Uzbekistan won quota places on Friday. Sehrawat, a former Asian and U23 world champion, lost in the semifinals of the men’s 57kg by technical superiority even as three other Indian wrestlers also exited early.

Jaideep, in men's 74kg, was eliminated in the quarterfinals while Sumit too lost at the same stage in the men's 125kg division. Fellow Indian wrestler Deepak lost to Japan’s Arash Yoshida in the first round.

The Olympic wrestling qualifying tournament follows a bracket system in which the two finalists in each weight division obtain quotas for their respective countries. There are no gold medal bouts or repechage.

Sehrawat started his campaign in Bishkek by defeating Kazakhstan’s Yerassyl Mukhtaruly, a U-23 Asian Championships silver medal winner, 10-0 by technical superiority in the qualifying.

The Indian wrestler then beat the Republic of Korea’s Kim Sunggwon 11-1 by technical superiority in the quarterfinals to set up a Paris 2024 quota bout against Uzbekistan’s Gulomjon Abdullaev, a Tokyo 2020 Olympian and former junior Asian champion.

However, in the semifinal bout, Sehrawat lost 10-0 to the Uzbek wrestler and bowed out. Abdullaev used a takedown before hitting a duckunder for four. He used a takedown and roll and kept Aman on his back to secure the fall.

Earlier, Olympian Deepak Punia (86kg) and Sujeet (65kg) were not allowed to compete as they arrived late for weigh-ins in Bishkek after they were stuck in Dubai since Tuesday due to heavy rainfall in the region. After they were ruled out, India had only four competitors in the fray of which only Sehrawat came close to a qualifying spot.

In the men’s 74kg, Jaideep lost in the quarterfinals by criteria to Kyrgyz grappler Orozobek Toktomambetov. He had reached the final eight after beating Turkmenistan's Alp A. Begenjov 10-0 via technical superiority in the qualifier.

Sumit also bowed out in the quarters of the men’s 125kg division after facing a 10-0 defeat against Mongolia’s Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur.

Meanwhile, in the men's 65kg, Kyrgyzstan picked up its second Freestyle quota for Paris 2024 as Ernazar Akmataliev (KGZ) posted a controlled 5-3 win over Kwang Jin Kim (PRK).

Kotaro Kiyooka picked up Japan's third quota -- and a chance to keep the 65kg Olympic gold in Japanese hands -- with a comprehensive 11-0 victory over Shaohua Yuan (CHN).

Kiyooka knocked off Tokyo Olympic champion Takuto Otoguro (JPN) to earn the right to represent Japan in Bishkek. His victory came six days after his younger sister Moe won the women's 55kg gold at the Asian Championships in the same venue.

Kyrgyzstan won the first Paris 2024 quota of the Asian OG Qualifier in Men's 57kg as Bekzat Almaz Uulu, winner of this year's Yasar Dogu tournament in Turkey and a two-time world U23 bronze medalist, pulled a ticket to Paris out of his hat with a counter takedown with 14 seconds to edge Munkh Erdene Batkhuyag (MGL) 3-3 on criteria.

--IANS

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