Men’s Freestyle draw preview for Wrestling World Qualifier

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Six Indian Men’s Freestyle Wrestlers will be in action on Sunday at the World Olympic Qualifier in Istanbul,Turkey. Freestyle wrestling has traditionally been India’s stronger disciplines with multiple Olympic & World championship medals.

Well that’s not the case anymore as Indian male freestyle wrestlers till now have drawn blank ,failing to win even a single Olympic quota.

Compare it to Women’s wrestling which has won a record 5 quotas that’s a disaster right up there.

The World Qualifier will be the last qualification chance and Indian wrestlers will be desperately hoping to win at least a couple of quotas from here to avoid embarrassment.

Let’s dive into the possibilities and draw analysis.

MEN’S 57 KG:
Aman Sehrawat will look to get past the setback at the Asian Qualifiers to try and get the quota this time around. Looking at draws, he will be India’s best bet for a men’s freestyle quota this weekend. Aman has got a fairly good draw with both Alireza Sarlak(IRI) & Spencer Lee(USA) in the opposite half. Aman is seeded 2nd and will start by possibly facing Georgi Vangelov(BUL) in the Round of 16. Expecting Aman to beat Vangelov here and move into the Quarter finals which should be an easier match.

Courtesy Olympics

Semis could prove to be the toughest hurdle with the potential opponents most likely being Muhammet Karavus(TUR) or Chongsong Han(PRK).While Aman had beaten Karavus easily at Zagreb in January, Han could prove to be a very tricky opponent for him.
Aman will have to take it today or he could potentially face problems in the Quota playoffs.

MEN’S 65 KG:
Traditionally one of india’s strongest categories,the 65kg category this time is looking at a possibility of having no representative in Paris. Asian Qualifier was the best chance for a quota but Sujeet Kalkal had to forfeit his match due to unforeseen circumstances.

Courtesy shutterstock

The world qualifier is much tougher with a lot bigger field with tougher opponents from the get go.
Sujeet faces a tricky opponent in Umidjon Jalolov(UZB) in the 1st round itself. And with wrestlers like Zain Allen Retherford(USA) & Tumur Ochirin Tulga(MGL) in the half,not expecting Sujeet to make it to the semis unless he produces something really special.
He will most probably be hoping for the Repechage.

MEN’S 74 KG:
Again one of India’s strongest category traditionally competed by the likes of Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav. Unfortunately the current crop of successors aren’t that good enough to be really honest. Jaideep put up a decent performance at the Asian Qualifier and will hope to better it this time. Expecting Jaideep to win a couple of opening round matches,but he is not likely to move past the second seed & European Champion Taimuraz Salkazanov(SVK) in the quarter finals.

MEN’S 86 KG:
Deepak Punia will regret not being able to participate at the Asian Qualifier due to unforeseen circumstances, as he has been handed a very tricky draw for the World Qualifier. On his good day,he can take the quota being one of the best wrestlers in this field. But considering how the past couple of months have gone for him plus lack of match practice can create problems in his way.

Courtesy Rediff

Deepak will face Lin Zushen(CHN) in the opening round. Lin is someone whom Deepak has beaten in the past,at the Tokyo Olympic quarter finals. He is a tricky wrestler but expecting Deepak to beat him this time as well. Quarters most likely against Vasyl Mykhailov(UKR) or Benjamin Greil(AUT) which is winnable. The upper quarter of Deepak’s half is stacked and it’s pretty difficult to predict who would move into the semis. Expecting european champion Dauren Kurugliev(GRE) or Atai Izabekov(KGZ) to make it to the semis against Deepak. Semis could be tough but Deepak will hope to qualify today itself as Repechage would be even tougher,if he gets it.
So there is realistic chance of Deepak winning the quota if he is in good form,but don’t be surprised if he gets knocked out in the Opening rounds as well.¬†
Chances 50:50

MEN’S 97 KG:
Deepak Nehra will be competing in the 97kg category.
Not expecting him to move beyond the opening rounds with wrestlers like Gankhuyag Ganbaatar(MGL) , Arash Yoshida(JPN) & Erik Sven Thiele(GER) in his half. Unless  he pulls out a stunning performance ofcourse.

MEN’S 125 KG:
Sumit will face Aaron Anthony johnson(JAM) in the opening round bout. If he wins this one he will bump into 4th seed Aiaal Lazarev(KGZ) in the next. Lazarev had earlier beaten Sumit at the Asian Games by Technical superiority, expecting a similar result here too.

So All in all, Aman Sehrawat (57 kg) is the best chance for a Quota followed by Deepak Punia (86 kg) provided everything goes well. Others have little to no chance unless they can put up some miraculous performances. Keep an eye on Sujeet(65 Kg) & Jaideep(74 kg) as well. Best Wishes to all the wrestlers.

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