Indian Greco-Roman wrestler Sajan Bhanwal finished fifth in the 77 kg category at the UWW Under-23 Senior World Championships on Saturday in Budapest, Hundary, after a defeat in the bronze medal bout.
Bhanwal fell short of adding a Under-23 medal to his three Junior World Championship medals as Turkey’s Serkan Akkoyun won by technical superiority. Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the bout, Bhanwal was soon put under pressure by his opponent who went on to score 10 unanswered points.
An aggressive Bhanwal got a point early on for pushing his opponent out of bounds but it looked like he injured himself in the process. The Indian had to get treatment from the official doctor for what looked like a shoulder niggle. His Turkish opponent pounced soon after resumption with a stunning takedown for four points, before winning 10-1 with 98 seconds left in the second period.
On Friday, Bhanwal suffered a heartbreaking loss in the 77 kg semi-final against Japan’s Kodai Sakuraba.
Bhanwal led 2-0 after the first period but was called for passivity in the second period. The Indian wrestler was penalised one point and the Japanese was given an advantageous position. Sakuraba was strong enough to complete a four-point throw and lead 5-2.
Bhanwal was running out of breath as the bout entered the closing stages. He was awarded two points for Sakuraba’s inactivity but even that was not enough as he lost 4-5.
Earlier, he had defeated Jesse Porter 6-0 to open his campaign. In the pre-quarterfinals, he overcame Azerbaijan’s Tunjay Vazirzade 3-1 before reaching the semi-final on the back of a strong 6-2 win over Per Albin Olofsson of Sweden.
In 97 kg Greco-Roman, Ravi is in contention for winning the bronze medal after his opponent in the round of 16, Giorgi Melia, qualified for the final. Ravi will be in repechage action on Sunday.
Ravinder in the 61 kg men’s freestyle and Pooja Gehlot in the 53kg women’s freestyle are the podium-finishers so far in this edition. In the 2018 U-23 World Championships, India had managed just one medal through Ravi Dahiya.
Clarification: The report originally said that the Indian campaign at this edition was over. Ravi (97kg) is, however, still in contention.