Tokyo-bound Sumit Malik pulls out of World Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers final, settles for silver

Sumit Malik is struggling with a knee injury and has withdrawn from Friday’s World Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers final against Russia’s Sergei Kozyrev.

Sumit Malik's injury which he picked up last year has resurfaced. - GETTY IMAGES (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

Indian wrestler Sumit Malik, who secured his berth in the men’s 125g freestyle event at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, settled for silver at the World Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers after pulling out of Friday’s final against Russia’s Sergei Kozyrev.

Sportstar has learnt that the 28-year-old Commonwealth Games champion is struggling with a knee injury. Sumit picked up the injury before the Asian Qualifiers last year and had suffered a ligament tear. He went on to recover and was back on the mat soon after but the injury has resurfaced. The recent flare up had troubled him at the Asian Wrestling Championships last month as well, where he chose to skip the repechage round due to injury after losing in the quarterfinal.

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“We have decided to withdraw from the final as he is not fit. We will settle for silver for now and focus on the upcoming Olympics,” a senior source currently with the team said.

Sumit earned a comprehensive 5-0 win over Venezuela’s Jose Diaz to storm to the final, thereby assuring himself of a spot at the Tokyo Olympics. He will be making his first Olympic appearance. 

He is the fourth Indian men’s freestyle grappler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, following the likes of Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg). Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) have qualified among the women wrestlers.

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