Showing tremendous skills in defence, Olympic-bound Deepak Punia earned himself a shot at a first Asian Championship title by reaching the 86kg final, while Ravinder (61kg) and Sanjeet (92kg) will fight for bronze in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Sunday.
Deepak, who has won two bronze medals at the continental championship before, reached the final with a confident 2-0 win over Korea’s Gwanuk Kim. Kim’s several double leg attacks bore no fruit in the face of the 22-year old Deepak’s solid defence.
The Indian, who secured his Olympic quota with a World Championship bronze, earned both his points on passivity of his opponent.
Deepak’s defensive tactics won him bouts against Uzbekistan’s Isa Shapiev (9-2) and Tajikistan’s Bakhodur Kodirov (4-3).
In the 61kg, Ravinder began with a close 4-3 win over Iran’s Majid Almas Dastan but lost his 4-7 semifinal defeat against Kazakhstan’s Adlan Aakarov.
The home wrestler’s relentless attack resulted in him getting out of breath in the second period but Ravinder could not take advantage of that. He will fight for bronze against Kyrgyzstan’s Ikromzhon Khadzhimurodov.
Sanjeet was impressive in his 9-4 win against Japan’s Ryoichi Yamanaka but was no match against Iran’s Kamran Ghorban Ghasempour, who won by technical superiority.
Since the Iranian reached the final, Sanjeet has got a chance to fight for bronze against Uzbekistan’s Rustam Shodiev.
However, 74kg national champion Sandeep Singh Mann and Sumit Malik (125kg) could not reach the medal round.
Sandeep lost a close quarterfinal 4-5 to Turkmenistan’s Atamyrat Charlyyev while Sumit lost his quarterfinal 1-7 to local hope Oleg Boltin. He had a chance through repechage but opted out due to an injury.
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