Ravi Malik remains the only saving grace for the Indian Greco Roman contingent at the Junior Wrestling World Championships as he reached the 82kg bronze medal play-off in Ufa, Russia.
Malik began on Saturday with a 6-0 win over Estonia’s Robin Uspenski and followed that up with a 18-9 victory over Kyrgyzstan’s Zhenish Humnabekov, who got three cautions in the quarterfinal bout. Malik though could not do much against Armenia’s Karen Khachatryan in the semifinal, which he lost by technical superiority. Once Malik was put on the ‘par terre’, Khachatryan pulled off consecutive gut wrench moves to finish the bout.
Other Greco Roman wrestlers from the country struggled, with a majority failing to get past the round of 16.
Narinder Cheema (97kg) was only the second Indian wrestler who managed to win two bouts and he got the reward by getting back into the competition through the repechage round.
Cheema edged out Germany’s Anton Erich Vieweg 6-6 and then beat Uzbekistan’s Abrorbek Nurmukhammedov 11-6. He lost his quarterfinal by fall to Pavel Hlinchuk but since the Belarusian made the final, Cheema got another chance.
Vikas (72kg) and Deepak (77kg) managed first round wins before losing. Anup (55kg), Vikas (60kg), Anil (63kg), Deepak (67kg), Sonu (87kg) and Parvesh (130kg) all exited after losing their respective first round bouts.
The competition comes to a close on Sunday. India’s junior wrestlers have had a memorable campaign so far winning 11 medals (4 silver, 7 bronze) across men’s freestyle and women’s wrestling categories.
(With PTI inputs)