Ulan Bator (Mongolia): Wrestler Sandeep Tomar secured an Olympic quota by clinching a bronze in the men’s freestyle 57kg category at the World Qualifying Tournament yesterday.
Sandeep overpowered Andriy Yatsenko of Ukraine 11-0 in the play-off to finish on the podium. The 25-year-old from Haryana is the fourth Indian wrestler to secure quota places for Rio. London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt (65kg freestyle), Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg freestyle) and Hardeep Singh (Greco-Roman 98kg) have earlier clinched Olympic quotas for the Rio Games (August 5-21).
Sandeep started his campaign on a promising note by thrashing Sezar Akgul of Turkey 11-0. He then defeated Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov of Kyrgyzstan 4-1 to enter the semi-finals, where he went down 8-8 to Mirjalal Hasan-Zada of Azerbaijan after a tough fight. However, the Indian then blanked Alexandru Chirtoaca of Moldova 10-0 in the repechage round to enter the bronze medal play-off.
India’s other freestyle wrestlers lost yesterday. Sumit Kumar (125kg category) lost a closely fought bout 4-6 to Daniel Ligeti of Hungary in the pre-quarters. Somveer Kadian (86kg category) was no match for Piotr Ianulov of Moldova, going down 0-10 in the pre-quarters. Satywart Kadian (97kg category) lost 4-5 to Germany’s Gennadji Cudinovic in the pre-quarter-finals.