6.20 pm: What a day. Breathless action!
That will be all from Nursultan as far as India is concerned for the day. On Day 6 of World Wrestling Championships, Ravi Kumar and Bajrang Punia lost in the semi-finals but assured themselves of Olympic quota places (in 57kg and 65kg respectively). Pooja Dhanda lose in the bronze medal bout. Thanks for joining us, do come back on Friday for more wrestling action.
Women’s 59kg bronze medal bout: No medal for Pooja.
The Indian fought back brilliantly at the very end and the challenge was successful but it resulted in just 2 points added. She misses out on her second bronze after losing 3-5 against Pei from China.
Women’s 59kg bronze medal: Another 2-point takedown from Pei and she has a 5-1 lead with 10 secs to go. The Chinese wrestler looks to have won the bout but India challenge. Looks like a formality.
Women’s 59kg bronze medal: Pooja gets a point under pressure but Pei converts defence into attack and scores 2. Pooja does well to keep it to 2. Pooja running out of time.
Women’s 59kg bronze medal: Clock for Pooja as she looks to avoid conceding a passivity point. And Pei takes a 1-0 lead with 40 secs to go in the first period.
Women’s 59kg bronze medal: Bout is underway between Pooja and Xingru.
Women’s 59kg bronze medal: Can Pooja Dhanda create history? She is on the mat now, eyeing another bronze.
6.00 pm: That was a stunning 57kg final between two brilliant wrestlers. Kawai had a 9-0 lead but Rong stormed back to make it 6-9 but couldn’t go past the finish line. Both players in tears.
5.50 pm: Remember, Pooja Dhanda might be in a non-Olympic category but she has the chance to become just the second Indian after Bajrang Punia to win TWO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP medals.
Here’s a look at the lineup in the 59kg category. The 57kg medal matches are on at the moment.
5.33 pm: In case you are just joining us, here is a detailed round-up of the day’s events so far. A bittersweet day, it must be said.
5.25 pm: A measured take on the Bajrang defeat.
5.20 pm: Pooja Dhanda will be in action soon
Right, we don’t think we can recover from those semifinals of men’s 57kg and 65kg just yet. But there is more to come. In the 59kg bronze medal match, Pooja Dhanda will take on China’s Xingru Pei. She had defeated Uzbekistan’s Gulnora Toshpulatova by technical superiority in the repechage round earlier. This is a non Olympic category.
5.10 pm: There was a major controversy earlier in the day as well.
5.08 pm: The Kazhak veteran wrestler was winded towards the end of the bout while, as the commentators observed, Bajrang looked like he could go another round. FINEST OF MARGINS! Bajrang would be a disappointed man right now, no doubt.
Men’s 65kg semifinals: This was the move that in effect cost Bajrang the match. In the next frame, Bajrang’s back landed first. The score was 2-2 at that point, the judges awarded 4 points to Niyazbekov as Bajrang ended up on his back. And then the failed challenge. Perhaps that four was understandable, but Punia should have had a couple of points for cautions. And the failed challenge proved critical as well.
Men’s 65kg semifinals: Bajrang Punia will wrestler for bronze but that feels underwhelming at the moment.
Men’s 65kg semifinals: BAJRANG PUNIA LOSES ON CRITERIA! HE IS NOT HAPPY AT ALL!
Oh dear, we don’t think we have heard the last of this. Punia is upset with the refereeing as Niyazbekov celebrates. The bout ends 9-9 but the KAZ wrestler is declared the winner by criteria: one four point move. That move could have gone either way and was reviewed by India! (Which was a point crucially lost in hindsight!)
Men’s 65kg semifinals: The Indian is not happy at all with the refereeing and he finally has a point for technicality. This is thrill a minute wrestling. 7-9 with 19 secs left. BAJRANG NEEDS 2!
Men’s 65kg semifinals: Two more points for Bajrang and he is on the charge! 45 secs to go and Bajrang makes it 6-9.
Men’s 65kg semifinals: Niyazbekov has Bajrang’s ankles! OH DEAR! The Indian hangs on to avoid losing more than 2 points. Bajrang trails 2-9 but makes it 4-9 soon. 90 secs left.
Men’s 65kg semifinals: Bajrang is pushed to the corner of the mat but he comes up with a throw! But wait... it’s given as four points to KAZ on the scoreboard. Oh dear, it’s a challenge lost and Bajrang is down 2-7. In trouble!
Men’s 65kg semifinals: End of the first period. The Kazhak is showing his experience but Bajrang’s playground is in the second periods of bouts. Back for the last 3 minutes.
Men’s 65kg semifinals: Bajrang is no stranger to making comebacks... he needs to step up now and produce a typical finish to the bout. He gets two back in no time. 2-2 at the moment.
Mat C (65 kg): Bajrang PUNIA (IND) vs. Daulet Niyazbekov (KAZ): Tight start to the bout and Bajrang is under early pressure. KAZ wrestler gets a 2-0 lead and shows good defence to keep it to 2.
Men’s 65kg semifinals: Right, time for Bajrang Punia! Can he make it back-to-back Worlds finals?
Men’s 57kg semifinals: One comeback too many for Ravi to make today and he will battle for bronze on Friday. But what a day it has been for him!
Men’s 57kg semifinals: Uguev loses a challenge and that adds a point to the Indian’s total. Ravi trails 3-6 now. Tight finish coming up.
Men’s 57kg semifinals: Ravi gets two points back to make it 2-6. But he is still in trouble.
Men’s 57kg semifinals: Ravi already made one comeback from 0-6 down, can he do it again?
Men’s 57kg semifinals: End of first period, Ravi trails Uguev 0-2. Tight bout so far.
Men’s 57kg semifinals: Ravi’s semi-final in the 57kg is underway and the Indian trails 0-2 early.
4.30 pm: Divya Kakran would have been expecting to make it to repechage but Dosho was crushed by USA’s Tamyra.
4.20 pm: Divya Kakran is ousted. Japan’s Dosho who beat Divya Kakran has also lost and that brings an end to the challenge of the Indian wrestler. There will be no repechage for her.
4.17 pm: Yogeshwar Dutt is a proud mentor.
4.09 pm: Well, this is nice!
4.06 pm: Away from wrestling for a minute, there is another World Championships going on where Wednesday was a memorable day for Indian Boxing in Russia. Manish Kaushik progressing to semi-finals (and assuring himself a medal) had a lot to do with it. R Vishal writes about his rapid rise here.
3.57 pm: India’s semi-final lineups:
Men’s 65 kg: Bajrang PUNIA (IND) vs. Daulet NIYAZBEKOV (KAZ)
Men’s 57 kg: RAVI Kumar Dahiya (IND) vs. Zavur UGUEV (RUS)
Men’s 65kg: Second Olympic quota confirmed for the day, and third overall, as Bajrang beats Son 8-1 in the 65kg quarterfinal. Son expectedly attacked Bajrang’s legs but the Indian wrestler was ready for it and won easily. For Bajrang, however, this was a bare minimum. He will be raring to go for GOLD.
Men’s 65kg: WAS IT EVER IN DOUBT? Bajrang Punia qualifies for Tokyo 2020!
Men’s 65kg: Bajrang in complete control at the moment, leading 6-1.
Men’s 65kg: Well, did not take long for Bajrang to find his footing and his opponent’s foot. Leads 4-1 after a couple of impressive moves. Good defence, it must be said from Son, who avoided being pinned when Bajrang got hold of his ankles.
Men’s 65kg: Right, time for Bajrang Punia now. He trails 0-1 after being pushed out of bounds in the first minute by PRK’s Son.
Men’s 57kg: Fighting two tough bouts in quick time, Ravi Kumar becomes the first Indian male wrestler to qualify for Tokyo2020. To think he was trailing 0-6 in PQF not too long ago.
Men’s 57 kg: RAVI KUMAR BOOKS HIS TICKET TO TOKYO 2020!
Men’s 57kg: Two more points for Ravi! Turns defence into attack and with 10 secs to go looking good for a win!
Men’s 57kg: The Japanese had Ravi on the mat for a long time but the Indian doesn’t budge, great upper body strength. Still leads 4-1 with less than a minute.
Men’s 57kg: Good start to the second half as well for Ravi. Another 2 points to lead 4-1 over Takahashi. Needs to stay strong in defence now.
Men’s 57kg: End of first period. Gritty defensive battle, Ravi doing enough to hold his own against Takahashi. Still leading 2-0.
Men’s 57kg: Good start for RAvi Kumar.
3.27 pm: And here are the quarter-finals once again in 57kg. Can Bajrang keep charging forward?
3.24 pm: Here are the quarter-finals once again in 57kg. First up is Ravi.
3.20 pm: Five minutes away from QF action in Nursultan. Meanwhile, here’s a quick update of India’s day so far:
- Bajrang Punia (65 kg) through to QF
- Ravi Kumar (57 kg) through to QF
- Divya Kakran (68 kg) still has a chance of making it to the repechage
- Sakshi Malik (62kg) knocked out
3.17 pm: The quarter-finals are about to start soon. Ravi Kumar and Bajrang Punia are one win away from reaching the semi-finals.
3.11 pm: Meanwhile, here is the quarter-final lineup for men’s 57kg.
3.09 pm: SAKSHI MALIK OUT OF MEDAL CONTENTION
Her opponent from earlier today, Aminat Adeniyi from Nigeria, has lost in her PQF. No repechage for Sakshi Malik and no Olympic quota yet.
Men’s 57kg: Ravi Kumar through to QF!
And with a big 18-6 over 61kg Euro champ Arsen Harutyunyan. He started off slowly but once he found his opponent’s weakness, he did not let go.
Men’s 57 kg: Well, not quite for Ravi by the looks of it. This has got to be the longest official review in history of sport. No clarity on what’s going on as the scoreboard is having a fix on top left.
Correction: This was a pre-quarterfinal bout. We re still awaiting the results of the challenge from Armenia.
Men’s 57 kg: Gets hold of the Armenian’s ankles again and Ravi has won this 17-6! There is a challenge from the Armenian side over the final points awarded. Awaiting result.
Men’s 57 kg: Ravi is fantastic rhythm now. Pushes the Armenian out early in the second period for a single point. Then gets another ankle lock going and picks up four more points. Yogeshwar would be very proud if he was watching this.
Men’s 57kg: Ravi Kumar fights back in sensational fashion! A 6-point move sees him head to the break leading 8-6 after being down 0-6.
Men’s 57kg: Ravi Kumar finally gets on the scoreboard. Two points. He trails 2-6 in the first period.
Men’s 57kg: Ravi Kumar (57kg) is in all sorts of trouble and down 0-4 in the first period. He hasn’t managed to get hold of his opponent yet. Well, make that 6-0 as the Armenian gets a challenge right and moves further ahead.
Men’s 57kg quarterfinals: Ravi Kumar’s 57kg bout is coming up on Mat C next. He will be taking on Arsen Harutyunyan (ARM).
Men’s 65kg, pre-quarters: In a result that is very much of relevance to Bajrang, the two big names in his category were involved in a sensational PQF bout where Russia’s Rashidov eliminated the defending world champ with a brilliant win.
Men’s 65kg, pre-quarters: Bajrang Punia is just one win away from booking his first Olympic berth after he defeates David Habat of Slovakia 3-0. He wasn’t his dominant self in this bout but he will definitely take the result.
Women’s 62kg, Round of 16: Sakshi has been clearly out of sorts since winning the Rio Olympics bronze medal. On Thursday, she was slow to get off the blocks and conceded a 6-0 lead before scoring her first take down. She did fight back in the second round but the gap was too big to fill as she lost 7-10 and will have to pray that Adeniyi manages to reach the final. Looks difficult for Sakshi at this stage.
Women’s 62kg, Round of 16: Time for Sakshi Malik to kick off her campaign against Aminat Adeniyi of Nigeria in a few minutes from now.
Men’s 57kg, Round of 32: What a start for Ravi Kumar. He completed a technical superiority win over Sunggwon Kim of Korea in just one round. He made the most of his reach and turned his opponent around with a leg grip to win 11-0.
Men’s 65kg, Round of 32: Bajrang Punia kicks off his campaign with a 9-2 win over Poland’s Krzysztof Bienkowski. He opened up a 5-0 lead in the first round after Bienkowski challenged a call and it was rejected. The Polish grappler got 2 points immediately after the restart but Bajrang was never to be denied.
Women’s 68kg, Round of 16: Divya Kakran had a difficult opening bout against Olympic champion Sara Dosho of Japan. The Indian had lost rather easily last time, she stood strong on her defence on Thursday but faced the shot clock twice due to passivity and lost the bout 2-0.
Divya would be hoping that Dosho reaches the final and she can make it to the repechage round.
10.50 am: While we wait for the likes of Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik to take the mat, here is Vinay Siwach on how Vinesh Phogat worked on her mind to clinch her first world championship medal.
59kg women update: Pooja Dhanda will take on China’s Xingru Pei in the bronze medal bout after she defeated Uzbekistan’s Gulnora Toshpulatova 13-0 by technical superiority.
Indians in Action today
62kg, Round of 16: Sakshi Malik vs Aminat Adeniyi (NGR)
68kg, Round of 16: Divya Kakran vs Sara Dosho (JPN)
59kg, bronze medal match: Pooja Dhanda vs TBD
57kg freestyle, Round of 32: Ravi Kumar vs Sunggwon Kim (KOR)
65kg freestyle, Round of 32: Bajrang Punia vs Krzysztof Bienkowski (POL)
With Vinesh Phogat securing India’s first Tokyo Olympic quota and also bagging a bronze medal, there were will be four more spots up for grabs on Day 6 of competition in NurSultan – two each in men and women.
India’s best medal hope in men’s freestyle wrestling, Bajrang Punia, will be in action in the 65 kg category and has been handed a decent draw.
Also, looking to seal her berth to Tokyo would be Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik. She will be competiting in the 62kg weight category and will look to make it to the semi-finals on Thursday to assure herself an Olympic berth.
Also in action would be Divya Kakran (68kg women) and Ravi Kumar (57kg men).
Later in the day, Pooja Dhanda would grapple for India’s second medal in the compeition when she participates in the bronze medal bout in the 59kg category.