Tokyo 2020 Wrestling: Know Ravi Kumar's semifinal opponent Nurislam Sanayev

Tokyo Olympics: Ravi Kumar's opponent Nurislam Sanayev beat Diamantino Iuna Fafe and Yuki Takahashi en route to the semifinal.

Nurislam Sanayev

Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan reacts after winning in the wrestling quarterfinal on Wednesday.   -  REUTERS

India wrestler Ravi Kumar faces Nurislam Sanayev of Aktobe, Kazakhstan, in the 57kg category semifinal at Tokyo 2020.

The winner of the match, scheduled for 2:45 PM IST (6:15 PM local time), will be assured a medal in the quadrennial showpiece.

Road to semifinal

Ravi Kumar beat Oscar Eduardo Tigreros Urbano of Colombia (13-2) in the 1/8 final and Bulgaria's Georgi Valentinov (14-4). 

Sanayev downed Diamantino Iuna Fafe 7-0 and Yuki Takahashi 4-4.

Who is Nurislam Sanayev?

Sanayev, Russian by birth, obtained Kazakhstan citizenship in 2014.

Ahead of Rio 2016, where he finished 12th in the 57kg freestyle category, he changed his name from Artas Sanaa to Nurislam Sanayev.

"I do not want other states to look at me as a mercenary who simply competes for Kazakhstan. I want everyone to consider me a Kazakh," he was quoted as saying by olympics.com.

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Sanayev is coached by Kazakhs Asset Serikbayev [national] and Baurzhan Nurmakhanov [personal]. Although unseeded, Sanayev was in red hot form in the lead up to the Olympics, having won gold at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series.

The 30-year-old's most memorable victory came at the 2018 Asian Championships in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where he finished first.

Sanayev, who represents Dynamo in club matches, also finished as the silver and bronze medallist in the 2018 and 2019 World Championships (57 kg), respectively.

He received the title of 'Honoured Master of Sport in Kazakhstan' in 2019.

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