Dhankar eyes Tokyo Olympics berth as Indian wrestlers make last attempt to qualify

Handed a possibility to qualify for the Tokyo Games on the fag finish of his worldwide profession, veteran wrestler Amit Dhankar would go all out when he takes the mat together with 11 different Indians on the World Olympic Qualifiers, beginning on Thursday.

The 32-year-old Dhankar is a three-time Commonwealth champion however he missed the big-ticket occasions as a result of he struggled to go previous Yogeshwar Dutt in 66kg class for many of his profession.

His last huge efficiency was a silver-medal present in 74kg on the 2019 Asian Championship held in Xian, China.

His hopes to make the lower for the Tokyo Games have been dashed when he misplaced the trials however since nationwide champion Sandeep Singh Mann got here a cropper on the Asian Qualifiers in Almaty, the nationwide federation gave Dhankar an opportunity to compete in Sofia.

READ: COVID-19 travel restrictions challenge India’s Tokyo Olympics hopefuls

Dhankar had completed second within the trials. It is the last probability for all of the wrestlers on the planet to qualify for the postponed Tokyo Games.

As many as seven Olympic medallists will likely be within the fray in numerous classes at this occasion, the place the 2 finalists will make the lower for the Games.

Dhankar can be determined to make the many of the probability however his journey will likely be exhausting as the 74-kg bracket is filled with robust wrestlers, together with Rio Olympics bronze medallist Soner Demirtas from Turkey, world champion Hetik Cabolov from Serbia and Slovakia’s European champion Tajmuraz Salkazanov.

Adding to the problem will likely be African champion from Nigeria, Ogbonna John, Asian champion from Kyrgyzstan Arsalan Budazhapov and the European champion from Belarus Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau.

Dhankar is agile on the mat however his rivals are superior by craft and that’s what goes to make a distinction.

The different free type Indians wresters in fray are 2018 CWG champion Sumit Malik (125kg), who lately bought married, and Satywart Kadiyan (97kg).

Malik had a fantastic probability to qualify from the Almaty occasion however squandered the chance. He nonetheless is India’s greatest hope on this class and it will not be a shock if Malik sneaks by.

In the ladies’s competitors, Seema Bisla (50kg) will likely be India’s greatest guess.

Ever since Vinesh Phogat moved to the 53kg class, Seema has proven promise. Winning a bronze medal on the current Asian Championship will need to have boosted her confidence.

Nisha (68kg) and Pooja (76kg) have additionally simply began their journey on the senior circuit at worldwide stage and can solely acquire by competing. Pooja doesn’t surrender simply and had gained bronze at each Asian occasions in Almaty lately.

Among India’s Greco Roman wrestlers, all eyes will likely be on hard-working Asian champion Gurpreet Singh (77 kg).

Sachin Rana (60kg), Aashu (67kg), Sunil (87 kg), Deepanshu (97 kg) and Naveen Kumar (130 kg) full the group.

Six Indian wrestlers have thus far certified for the Tokyo Games. In males’s free type, Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) made the lower, whereas Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) certified in girls’s class.

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