Deepak Punia became the 4th Indian Wrestler to qualify for Tokyo Olympics.

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Highlights

  • Competing in his maiden senior World Championship, Deepak locked the quota after prevailing 7-6 in a tense quarterfinal against Carlos Arturo Mendez from Columbia.
  • Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya have already qualified for 2020 Olympics with bronze models.

Reigning junior world champion Deepak Punia on Saturday to become the fourth Indian wrestler to seal Tokyo Olympics berth after moving the 8kg semifinals at the World Wrestling Championship on Saturday.

Competing for his maiden his senior World Championship, Punia then defeated Switzerland’s Stefan Reichmuth 8-2 in the last-four bout to book a place in the gold medal match.

Earlier, Deepak locked the quota after prevailing 7-6 in a tense quarterfinal against Colombia’s Carlos Arturo Mendez. With one minute to go, he was trailing 3-6 but pulled off a takedown and then expose move to take a 7-6 lead in the dying moments of the tense bout.

Meanwhile, the other Indian wrestler in the semis-Rahul Aware lost his bout 6-10 to Beka Lomtadze of Georgia and failed to reach the final in the 61kg non-Olympic category.

Aware will fight for the bronze medal on Sunday against the winner of repechage rounds. Both Deepak and Rahul overcame rough Kazakh wrestlers en route the semifinals.

Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya have already qualified for the 2020 Olympics with bronze medals.

However, Jitender (79kg) lost his quarterfinal while Mausam Khatri lost his round of 16 bouts in 97kg to reigning Olympic Champion Kyle Frederick Snyder. Both are out of the medal contention after the victors failed to reach the summit clash.

Deepak had bumped into home wrestler Adult Davlumbayev in his opening round and looked a bit nervous before the bout.

In 61kg, Rahul played the quarterfinal against Turkmenistan’s Kerim Hojakov.

In 97kg, Mausam Khatri was no match to the American, losing by technical superiority.

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