Indian greco-roman grappler Sajan Bhanwala lost in the opening round of the World Championships to a technically far superior opponent from South Korea as the country’s disappointing show at the prestigious competition continued here on Thursday.
The 82kg wrestler was no match for Yang Sejin, losing 3-1 and getting eliminated from the tournament against an opponent ranked one place lower than the Indian at No.18 in the world.
Indians have had a torrid time at the Worlds with only Abhimanyu (70kg) making it to the bronze-medal round in men’s freestyle. He had lost to Arman Andreasyan of Armenia.
In the women’s section, Antim Panghal (53kg) has a chance to win a bronze medal and secure a spot for the Paris Olympics later on Thursday.
Gurpreet Singh, the 77kg grappler, after getting a direct entry into the pre-quarterfinal lost his bout to world No.1 Levai Zoltan of Hungary in just one minute 12 seconds.
Zoltan, the 2022 World Championships silver medalist in Belgrade last year, achieved a victory by fall.
However, Gurpreet can still make it to the bronze medal round through the repechage route if Zoltan goes all the way to the final.
Mehar Singh, the 130kg greco-roman wrestler, too lost in the qualification round to be eliminated from the competition. The 27th-seeded Indian lost to 28th-ranked David Ovasapyan of Armenia on technical points 0-8 in just 39 seconds.
The Indians are competing under the United World Wrestling flag as the Wrestling Federation of India has been suspended by the international federation.
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