Wrestling: Seema wins gold at Olympic qualifiers

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Sofia: Seema Bisla added a gold medal to her Olympic qualification but India’s Greco Roman wrestlers drew a blank at the World Olympic Qualifiers as none of them could earn a Tokyo Games quota, here on Saturday.

Seema, who secured her Olympic qualification on Friday, took the 50kg gold without getting on mat as her rival from Ecuador, Lucia Yamileth Yepez Guzman withdrew from the final due an injury.

It is first international title for 29-year-old Seema since she triumphed at the Yasar Dogu event in July 2019.

In the Greco Roman competition, India’s brightest hope was Gurpreet Singh but he was ousted after losing his 77kg pre-quarterfinal in just 48 seconds to 2020 European champion Rafig Huseynov from Azerbaijan.

Huseynov pulled off a quick four-point move to stun Gurpreet. Before Gurpreet could regroup, the Azerbaijani effected another four-pointer to end the bout in the first period itself.

Gurpreet, who had won a bronze medal at last month’s Asian Qualifiers, had got a walkover from Tajikistan’s Daler Rez Zade in his opening bout.

All Greco Roman wrestlers cut a sorry figure as none of them could win a bout.

Sachin Rana (60kg) forfeited his opening bout after falling sick.

“He was feeling unwell after weigh-in. He said he noticed blood in his urine, so we withdrew him from the competition. Health is paramount,” India’s national coach Hargobind Singh told PTI.

Ashu (67kg) squandered ‘Par Terre’ position advantage to lose 3-8 against Aliaksandr Liavonchyk of Belarus.

Sunil Kumar missed chances aplenty against 2016 Olympic champion Davit Chakvatadze in the 87kg pre-quarterfinal. He was up 1-0 but did not take advantage of the ‘Par Terre’ as he let the Russian get out of the defensive position.

Chakvatadze was tired towards the ends but the Indian could not take advantage of even that.