Returning to the World Championship after eight years, double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar lost his opening round bout to Azerbaijan’s Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev in Nursultan, Kazakhstan on Friday.
Gadhziyev lost in the quarter-finals later to Jordan Burroughs, ending Sushil’s hopes of reaching the bronze medal round and earning an Olympic quota.
In fact, all four Indian wrestlers in action on day seven in the men’s freestyle categories are out of medal contention.
Using all his experience, former world champion Sushil had raced to a 9-4 lead but lost seven points in a row to lose the 74kg qualification bout.
Sushil employed a four-point throw after trailing 0-2 to take lead and further consolidated it with another four-point throw, which came from a difficult position.
The Uzbek camp challenged the throw but lost the call, giving one additional point to Sushil for a 9-4 lead at the break.
However, the second period belonged to the Azerbaijani, who first pushed Sushil out and the scored of a takedown and took the lead with a gut wrench from a ground position.
Time was running out but Sushil appeared too tired himself out as Gadzhiyev scored two more points with a two-point push out a throw to clinch the bout.
Sushil is the only Indian to have won a World title when he triumphed in 2010 in Moscow.
In the other Olympic category (125kg), a passive Sumit Malik lost 0-2 Daniel Ligeti of Hungary, who in turn lost in the very next round.
In the non-Olympic 70kg, Karan lost his Qualification round bout 0-7 to Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov, who later lost in the quarter-finals. Parveen was the only India to register a win on the day, but lost in the 2nd round. After beating Korea’s Changjae Sue by technical superiority in the qualifying round, the Indian lost to Ukraine’s Liubomyr Sagaliuk 8-0. The Ukranian met with defeat in the next round as well.
Later on Friday, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar (who had earned Olympic quotas on Thursday) will face Tulga Tumur Ochir and Reza Ahmadali respectively in their bronze medal bouts.
Follow our live coverage of the Wrestling World Championships here.