Mausam Khatri misses Olympic berth by a whisker

Khatri was just one win away from making the final of 97kg freestyle division and ensuring a place at the Olympics, but he lost his semifinal bout to Khuderbulga Dorjkhand of Mongolia 6-8. India will now be represented by six wrestlers at the Rio Olympics.

Mausam Khatri (right) lost to Mongolian Khuderbulga Dorjkhand 8-6 in the 97kg freestyle semifinals on Sunday.

Seasoned wrestler Mausam Khatri narrowly missed out on an Olympic berth after losing to Mongolian Khuderbulga Dorjkhand 8-6 in the 97kg freestyle semifinals of the second Olympic Games World qualifying tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday.The veteran wrestler will now fight for the bronze medal.

No Indian managed to bag a quota place on the final day of competitions today, though two women grapplers — Vinesh Phogat (48kg) and Sakshi Malik (58kg) — had booked quota places for the country yesterday.

The second World Olympic Qualifying tournament here is the last qualification event for the Rio Games and only the top two finishers in each weight category are ensured of an Olympic quota place.

India will now be represented by six wrestlers across three formats at the Rio Olympics.

Earlier, Khatri had put up a dominating show, thrashing Nikolaos Papaoikonomou 10-0 in his pre-quarterfinals bout before getting the better of Germany’s Erik Sven Thiele 8-4 in the quarterfinal to brighten his chances of qualification for Rio Games.

In 125kg category, Hitender lost to Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi 2-7 in the qualification bout, but the Indian managed to reach the repechage round as his Ukrainian rival made it to the final.

Another Indian in the fray today, Gopal Yadav though bowed out in the qualification round of 86kg after suffering a 4—5 defeat at the hands of Latvia’s Armands Zvirbulis. PTI CM PDS PDS 05081953

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