From India’s first particular person medallist (KD Jadhav, 1952) to the one double particular person medallist (Sushil Kumar, 2008 and 2012), wrestling has been certainly one of India’s most profitable sports activities on the Olympics.
In 2016, India despatched its largest contingent to the Video games but — eight, together with eventual bronze medallist Sakshi Malik. This 12 months, as issues stand, 4 have already certified for Tokyo — Ravi Dahiya (males’s 57kg freestyle), Bajrang Punia (males’s 65kg), Deepak Punia (males’s 86kg) and Vinesh Phogat (ladies’s 53kg). The contingent could possibly be considerably larger this time as one other 14 wrestlers will get an opportunity so as to add to that quantity on the Asian Olympic qualifier that begins in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Friday. Whereas Indian wrestlers have to complete with both a gold or a silver to qualify, the absence of North Korea, who’ve pulled out of the Olympics altogether, may make issues a bit simpler.
There will probably be extra stress owing to the truth that there are fewer Olympic spots on provide general (288 in Tokyo or about 16 qualifiers in every class as in comparison with 350 and 20 qualifiers in every weight division on the Rio Olympics). Which means that ought to wrestlers not qualify on the Asian qualifiers, they may have only one extra likelihood — on the World Qualifiers in Could.
So who has the very best likelihood of qualifying? We break it down by every weight class.
No Indian has certified within the Greco Roman class to this point. India’s greatest likelihood to qualify will probably be right here for the reason that divisions (particularly within the heavier weights) are comparatively weaker to that on the World degree. India’s greatest prospects on this class will probably be by way of Gurpreet within the males’s 77kg division and Sunil within the males’s 87kg division.
The sphere is depleted since 4 Asians already certified on the World Championships, however India’s consultant, Gyanender Singh’s probabilities relied on his draw. Sadly Gyanender has been drawn in the identical bracket because the strongest wrestler within the competitors — 2020 Asian silver medallist and 2018 World silver medallist Zholaman Sharshenbekov. With the 2 prone to meet within the semifinal, Gyanender must pull off a significant upset to e-book his ticket to Tokyo.
With no Asian wrestler having certified on the 2019 World Championships, the chances are stacked towards India’s Ashu, a bronze medallist on the 2020 Asian Championships. Nonetheless, he is discovered a little bit of fortune. Two of the largest threats –Three-time World champion Ryu Han Su of South Korea and former World bronze medallist Meirzhan Shermakhanbet of Kazakhstan have been positioned on the opposite half of the draw. Ashu although will probably need to beat 2019 Asian Champion Mohammad Reza Geraei of Iran within the semifinals to verify his place within the Tokyo Olympics.
Gurpreet Singh gained the Rome Rating collection final 12 months however that match has additionally been his final worldwide occasion. He missed the Asian Championships final 12 months in addition to the Rome Rating collection a few months in the past, because of a niggle. He will not have it simple in Almaty having drawn two-time Olympic medallist Hyeon Woo Kim in his first spherical.
As the primary Indian Greco-Roman wrestler in 27 years to win an Asian title in 2020, loads of hopes can be on Sunil Kumar’s shoulders.Nonetheless, that title was gained within the absence of three-time Asian champion and 2017 World bronze medalist Hossein Nouri of Iran. The 2 have confronted off earlier than, with the Iranian beating the Indian within the ultimate of the 2019 Asian Championships. A silver would not be a nasty end result this time round. Fortunately the draw has favoured Sunil, holding him out of the Iranian’s half of the bracket.
Though he beat out 2016 Olympian Hardeep Singh to earn his proper to compete on the Asian qualifiers, Ravi Kumar will face a troublesome ask to make it to Tokyo. Though he avoids reigning Asian champion Mohammad Saravi of Iran within the competitors, Ravi’s path to Olympian standing will probably be a tough one. His first spherical is towards 2019 Asian Champion Uzur Dzhuzupbekov. He is prone to come up towards 2020 Asian silver medallist Se-yeol Lee of South Korea within the semis.
With only one Asian having certified on the World Championships, the sector on the Asian qualifiers is prone to be too laborious for India’s Naveen Kumar to beat.
The absence of North Korea will probably be most felt within the ladies’s freestyle class. Seema Bisla would profit from the absence of World bronze medalist Kim Son-Hyan, whereas the exit of Worlds quarterfinalist Jong In Son ought to work in favour of Anshu Malik.
With comparatively few members within the ladies’s 50kg and 76kg divisions the highest two positions – and correspondingly Olympic qualifiers — can be decided by way of a spherical robin format. Wrestlers within the ladies’s 57kg, 62kg, 68kg divisions have been divided into two separate teams that will compete in a spherical robin format with the winner of every group competing towards the runner up of the opposite group. The winner of that match will qualify for the Olympics.
Seema Bisla was a win away from making it to Video games within the 2019 World Championships itself, however she misplaced to eventual bronze medallist Ekaterina Poleschuk of Russia. She has likelihood of reserving her ticket to Tokyo in Almaty although. Japan’s Yui Susaki is the clear favorite for gold, however Seema solely wants to complete second to qualify, and the withdrawal of North Korea’s Kim Son-Hyan places her in place to try this.
Anshu Malik is coming off an harm niggle that brought about her to concede a match within the Rome Rating collection. Nonetheless, with the sector comparatively naked owing to the absence of the wrestlers from North Korea and with Japan and China having already certified, Malik can be a heavy favorite to return with an Olympic quota.
The ladies’s 57kg division has been cut up into two teams of three wrestlers every, with the winner of every group competing towards the runner-up of the opposite group. The winner of that match will qualify for the Olympics. Malik will wrestle South Korea’s Um Jieun and Kazakhstan’s Emma Tissina, each of whom she will probably be anticipated to beat.
Though she’s earned her place within the Indian staff by beating Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, former cadet World champion Sonam Malik will not have it simple in Almaty.
The ladies’s 62kg division has been divided into two teams, with the winner of every group competing towards the runner up of the opposite for a spot within the Olympics. Sonam will probably be up towards rising Chinese language wrestler Jia Lengthy in her group. The Chinese language wrestler does not have a lot worldwide expertise however had put up some robust outcomes together with dropping a slim 6-6 determination to World Champion Aisluu Tynbekova on her solution to successful a bronze within the 2020 Matteo Pellicone match. Whereas Sonam ought to nonetheless get by way of, she’s going to seemingly need to face both Junior World silver medallist Nabira Esenbaeva of Uzbekistant or Asian silver medallist Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazakhstan for a spot within the Olympics.
Coming off a four-year ban, Nisha Dahiya will probably be trying to make up for misplaced time having made the Indian staff forward of 2020 Asian Champion Divya Sain. Though three of Dahiya’s hardest rivals are out of the equation (Japan and Mongolia having certified already and no North Korea), her path to Tokyo by way of Almaty is not going to be simple.
Though she ought to advance from her group, she’s prone to be up towards both China’s Feng Zhou, Kazakhstan’s Zhamila Bakbergenova or Meerim Zhumanazaravo of Kyrgyzstan within the semifinals. Neither will probably be a simple opponent. Bakbergenova is in glorious type having gained gold the Rome Rating collection in March, as did Feng whereas extra challenges will probably be posed by 21-year-old Junior World silver medallist Meerim Zhumanazaravo of Kyrgyzstan.
In one other comparatively threadbare area with three Asian international locations having already certified for the Olympics, India’s Pooja Sihag has a powerful likelihood of qualifying for the Tokyo Video games. Her principal rivals will probably be Aiperi Kyzy of Krygyzstan and South Korea’s Search engine optimization-yeon Jeong, each of whom are silver medallists on the Asian Championships.
India has already certified three wrestlers within the males’s freestyle division and most eyes will probably be on the prospects of Sandeep Mann within the marquee 74kg division. Prospects are dimmer within the heavier divisions.
Sandeep Mann earned his place within the Indian staff on the again of wins over World Championships medallist Narsingh Yadav and former Asian champion Amit Dhankar. In Almaty, two-time World Championships medallist Bekzod Abdurakhmonov of Uzbekistan will probably be a troublesome impediment, as will former Asian and World medallist Adam Batirov of Bahrain and 2016 World championship bronze medallist Elaman Uulu Dogdurbek of Kazakhstan.
Satyawart Kadian has his job minimize out. The ten-man bracket within the 97kg division is headlined by Rio bronze medalist Magomed Ibragimov of Uzbekistan, nevertheless it’s Iran’s Mohammad Hossein Mohammadian who would be the largest risk. A former World bronze medallist, Mohammadian returned from a 2019 doping ban with a bang in 2020 by pinning Olympic champion Kyle Snyder.
Needing to make the ultimate to qualify, India’s consultant Sumit Malik received a bit of fine fortune after Uzbekistan’s Khasanboy Rakhimov, bronze medallist on the 2019 World championships failed a doping check. It resulted in Iran getting the Olympic quota — eradicating a critical risk on the Asian qualifiers. It additionally meant that Uzbekistan will probably be going into the competitors with a much less achieved wrestler. Sumit will nonetheless need to hope for a beneficial draw and keep away from Asian Champion and favorite Yusup Batirmurzaev of Kazakhstan.