Asian Games 2023: Sunil Kumar advances to bronze medal playoff; Other Greco Roman Wrestlers exit
India's Sunil Kumar has kept the country's medal hopes alive in Greco Roman wrestling at the Asian Games. He reached the bronze playoff in the 87kg category, marking a significant moment in India's wrestling journey.
India's Sunil Kumar has kept the country's hopes alive for its first Greco Roman wrestling medal in 13 years at the Asian Games. Sunil secured his place in the 87kg bronze playoff, displaying his prowess on Wednesday. He began with a narrow 4-3 victory over China's Fei Ping and followed it up with a dominant technical superiority win over Tajikistan's Sukhrob Abdulkhaev, sealing the quarterfinal in the first period.
However, Sunil faced a tough challenge in the form of reigning Asian champion Naser Alizadeh from Iran, ultimately losing 1-4 and missing out on the gold medal contention. Nevertheless, Sunil Kumar will now battle Kyrgyzstan's Atabek Azisbekov for a shot at India's first Greco Roman medal since 2010.
In the Guangzhou edition, India had clinched two medals in this category, with Ravinder Singh (60kg) and Sunil Kumar Rana (66kg) both earning bronze.
Unfortunately, the other Indian Greco Roman wrestlers—Gyanender (60kg), Neeraj (67kg), and Vikas (77kg)—were unable to advance beyond their initial rounds, facing defeats against their respective opponents.
On Thursday, two remaining Indian Greco Roman wrestlers, Narinder Cheema (97kg) and Naveen (130kg), will have their chance to compete.
The women's wrestling competition will also commence on Thursday, featuring emerging talents such as Antim Panghal (53kg), Pooja Gehlot (50kg), and Mansi Ahlawat (57kg).