Deepak Punia set to appear in the Tokyo Olympics next year after moving to the 86kg semi-finals on Saturday at the World Wrestling Championships. Punia defeated Colombia’s Carlos Arturo Izquierdo Mendez in the quarter-finals to become the fourth Indian to register his spot in next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Vinesh Phpgat, Ravi Kumar and Bajrang Punia already sealed their berth for the 2020 Games and secured bronze medals in their respective categories.
Junior World Champion who has appeared in his first-ever World Championships this year had beat Turkmenistan’s Kodirov 6-0 to reach the last-8 on Saturday. Earlier, while playing against Kazhakstan’s Adilet Davlumbayev Punia made a spectacular comeback with recovering from a 0-5 deficit to claim a victory 8-6. Deepak will take on Stefan Reichmuth of Switzerland to secure a place in the finals of the World Wrestling Championships.
On the other hand, Rahul Aware defeated former Asian champion Kazakhstan’s Kayliyev in an enthralling battle to bag the semi-finals spot of the 61kg category. Aware also registered a thrilling win over Kerim Hojakov of Turkmenistan in the quarter-finals.
Another Indian wrestler Jitender secured a win against Bronze medallist Kotanoglu of Turkey 7-1 in the 79kg category. Mausam Khatri could not register a victory 0-10 against Kyle Frederick Snyder of the USA in the 97kg category.
Earlier, World No. 1 made his place for the Tokyo Olympics after entering in the semi-finals in the men’s 65kg freestyle category. Another Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya also qualified for next year’s Tokyo Olympics after he stormed into the semi-finals of the men’s 57kg freestyle category in the World Wrestling Championships.