Ravi Dahiya pulls out of Bishkek UWW event due to knee strain; Mulaym, Pankaj lose bronze play-off
Olympic silver medallist wrestler Ravi Dahiya pulled out of the Bishkek Ranking Series event on Sunday due to a knee strain while Mulaym Yadav and Pankaj lost their bronze play-offs as Indian men's freestyle team will return empty-handed from the tournament.
Dahiya, who entered the 61kg competition, was up against Kyrgyzstan's Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu in the Qualification round. It was Dahiya's first competition since finishing sixth at the World Championship in Belgrade in September 2022.
However, the 25-year-old wrestler from Nahri did not take the risk of aggravating his injury and opted out.
''Ravi has recovered from his right knee injury that he sustained in January this year but during the warm up, he suffered a strain on the same knee. Since Asian Games trials are near, he decided to pull out of the event as he did not want to risk aggravating the injury,'' said a member of the Indian support staff.
In the same 61kg category, Pankaj set up a quarterfinal clash against U-23 world champion Aman Sehrawat with a confident 8-2 win over Gerogia's Giorgi Goniashvili.
It was Aman, winner of a bronze in Zagreb Open in February this year, who was favourite to win this all-Indian clash but Pankaj emerged a surprise winner with a comfortable 8-1 margin.
Pankaj was quick with his counter-attacking moves and it rattled Aman.
He could not make the final as he lost the last-four clash 0-7 to Uulu and later, Pankaj lost his bronze medal bout 1-6 to Turkey's Emrah Ormanoglu.
In the 70kg event, Yadav comfortably beat Kazakhstan's Doszhan Asetov 9-4 in his qualification round and followed that up with a confident 6-2 win over Georgia's Davit Patsinashvili. Yadav's defence stood out during his quarterfinal bout.
He later lost his semifinal 1-7 to local favourite Orozobek Toktomambetov. In the bronze medal match against Turkey's Servet Coskun, he was trailing 1-6 but logged five straight points to tie the score. However, he lost the match on criteria since Coskun had a bigger throw to show -- a four-pointer.
In 65kg, a category which Bajrang Punia has made his own, Anuj Kumar lost a close pre-quarterfinal 6-7 to Azerbaijan's Ali Rahimzada.
India did not have entries in 57kg, 74kg, 79kg and 92kg competitions.
India won four medals in the tournament. The women wrestlers won three medals on Saturday while one came through Greco Roman grappler Manjeet.
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