Sajan loses close bronze-medal bout at U-23 Worlds

Sajan Bhanwal clawed his way back after being 1-5 down to attain parity at 5-5, but was eventually beat 5-6 by his Russian opponent.

Sajan Bhanwal (right) suffered a heartbreaking loss in the bronze-medal bout.   -  PTI

Sajan Bhanwal suffered a narrow 5-6 defeat in the bronze-medal playoff as India’s Greco Roman campaign ended without any medal at the Under-23 World Wrestling Championship, here on Tuesday.

The talented 20-year old from Haryana erased a 1-5 deficit against Russia’s Ismail Saidkhasanov to make it 5-5 but lost a point when he stepped out in the second period of the 77kg bout.

Ismail, the silver-medallist at this year’s U-23 European Championship, held onto his narrow lead with Sajan losing steam towards end.

Sajan had grabbed his maiden international gold at this year’s junior Asian Championship and is the only Indian grappler to win back-to-back medals at the junior world championships - bronze in 2017 (Finland) and silver in 2018 (Slovakia).

It turned out to be yet another poor show by other Greco Roman wrestlers as none of the six in action today could win a single bout.

Sunil had a chance to be in the medal round but he narrowly lost his repechage round in 87kg 6-8 to Bulgaria’s Yoan Danielov Dimitrov.

Manish faded in the Qualification round in the 60kg with a 3-7 defeat against Germany’s Christopher Josef Kraemea while Ravinder was knocked out of 67kg event after he lost his 1/8 bout 0-4 to Russia’s Alen Mirzoian.

Ajay Kumar bowed out from 72kg category after losing his bout by technical superiority (0-11) to Bulgaria’s Aik Mnatsakanian while Deepanshu’s campaign ended with a 0-4 defeat against Uzbekistan’s Temur Mirzo Mamajanov.

India’s Greco Roman wrestlers yet again put up a dismal show at the world stage. At the senior world championships in Budapest, the grapplers in the format had struggled badly, winning just two bouts in their entire campaign.