Harpreet wins bronze at Asian Wrestling C’ship

India’s Gurpreet Singh and Harpreet Singh entered the bronze medal play-off round of their respective Greco-Roman weight divisions at the Asian Wrestling Championship, which commenced here today.

Harpreet Singh reached the Bronze medal match after the opponent who had beaten him reached the final.   -  Getty Images

Hapreet Singh provided the bronze medal start for the host by winning a thrilling 3-2 decision against Junjie Na of China in the 80 kg weight category of Greco Roman in the Asian Wrestling Championship at the KD Jadhav arena in the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex on Wednesday.

Considering that Greco Roman was not India’s forte, it was not that a bad start as the host managed to put two wrestlers for the medal fight, through repechage, when the opening day’s competition was restricted to five weight categories.

Harpreet, who had won the preliminary round against Yuya Maeta of Japan 2-1 in the morning had lost the quarterfinals to Junehyoung Ki of Korea by a technical fall 0-8 did well to make it to the bronze contest.

He showed considerable alacrity to gain two points in the second round of  the medal match after being on par at 1-1 against the Chinese, and managed to see through the time even as the Chinese managed to bridge the gap.

Gurpreet Singh, who had lost a close bout to the eventual champion in the 75 kg category, Maxat Yerezhepov of Kazakhstan 6-8 in the quarterfinals, was a disappointment in the bronze medal bout as he was outclassed in no time, and lost by a technical fall 0-8, to Bing Yan of China.

He had won the qualification round against Dilshodjon Turdiev of Uzbekistan in the morning and had won the repechage against Bungo Beishalev of Kyrgyzstan, to be eligible for the bronze match.

Hardeep Singh also made it to the repechage, in the 98 kg category, but lost by a technical fall to Yerulan Iskakov of Kazakhstan, 0-9. He had lost to Seyedmostafa Seyedgharibar Salehizadeh of Iran in the quarterfinals, but the latter went on to make the final and revived the Indian grappler’s chances.

In a small field of seven in the 130 kg section, Naveen lost 1-2 on points to Muminjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in the qualification stage.

In the 66 kg category, Ravinder Khatri lost 3-5 on points to Ali Reizollah Arsalan of Iran in the quarterfinals.

Korea won the first gold medal of the championship as Sanghun Oh beat Alimat Kebispayev of Kazakhstan in the 66 kg section of Greco Roman. Maxat Yerezhepov of Kazakhstan neutralised it for Kazakhstan by beating the Korean Park Daeseung in the 75 kg section.

The Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel, inaugurated the championship and declared it open. There was a cultural performance to regale the participants.

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