Junior Asian Wrestling C’ships: Naveen settles for silver

Goes down to Gulomjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in the 57kg.

India’s Naveen with his silver medal.   -  PTI

Indian grapplers faltered at the final hurdle on the penultimate day of the Junior Asian Wrestling Championships here on Saturday, settling for silver in three of the five weight categories that saw action on the day and a bronze as the competition moved to the Freestyle men's category.

The biggest upset was Naveen losing to Gulomjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in the 57kg 7-1 despite being favourite for the title. The 20-year old Naveen, a trainee at the Chhatrasal Stadium for the past five years, had won bronze in the 2016 edition of the competition and though he managed to improve on that, there was disappointment writ large on his face.

“The gold went out in the beginning itself when the other guy took those four points at the end of the first round. Once I trailed 7-0, the mind went completely blank, there was nothing I could think of or even try to come back into the bout,” Naveen admitted.

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It was a weak shoulder grip that let Naveen down as the Uzbek opponent pounced on his weakness to take of successive two-pointers to widen the gap. Naveen had defeated a much-stronger Iranian Reza Mohsen Alijanzadehjouybari 6-5 in the quarterfinals to stamp his authority here but was unable to repeat the performance in the final.

The gold medallist at the Asian Cadet championships in 2015, Naveen announced his potential when he defeated Rio Olympian Sandeep Tomar in the quarterfinals at the National Championships last year before finishing fifth.

Narrow loss for Vishal

It was also heartbreak for Vishal Kaliraman who started with a bang but went out with a whimper in the 70kg final to Iran's Amirhossein Morteza Gholi Kavousi, losing 10-7. Kaliraman back-flipped his opponent for four points but the Iranian kept pushing him out of the mat for points. The Indian did manage to level scores at 7-7 but fumbled with less than a minute left to finish second.

Sachin Giri, in his maiden international competition, was no match for Sajjad Saberali Gholami, surrendering in just 72 seconds in the 97kg while Karan, bronze medallist in the previous edition last year, ended with a bronze again in the 65kg.

The results
  • 57kg: Gulomjon Abdullaev (Uzb), Naveen (Ind), Almaz Smanbekov (Kgz) and Reza Mohsen Alijanzadehjouybari (Iri); 65kg: Takuma Taniyama (Jpn), Ernazar Akmataliev (Kgz), Karan (Ind) and Amirhossein Azim Maghsoudi (Iri); 70kg: Amirhossein Morteza Gholi Kavousi (Iri), Vishal Kaliraman (Ind), Kojiro Shiga (Jpn) and Nurkozha Kaipanov (Kaz); 79kg: Sajjad Saberali Gholami (Iri), Sachin Giri (Ind), Mukhammadrasul Rakhimov (Uzb) and Takato Uchida (Jpn); 97kg: Sajjad Gholamhossein Azizi (Iri), Serik Bakytkhanov (Kaz), Kunai Nurdavletov (Kgz) and Hynsu Han (Kor).