Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Bogat, two big contenders for the Olympic medals from the massive South Asian country in the sport, finished second and first in their respective men’s and women’s categories.
Dual Planet Brown and second in Budapest 2018, Punia is a key figure in the fight and one of the best in the world in the 65kg category.
In addition to its two main stars, the Indian gladiators team features 22- and 23-year-olds Deepak Punia and Ravikumar Tahiya respectively.
Deepak made a significant entry into the international arena by winning the 2016 World Cadet Wrestling Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia, and won gold at the 2019 World Junior Wrestling Championships.
Under two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar, he competed in the Senior Wrestling World Cup in Noor Sultan, Kazakhstan and reached the 86kg final.
A leg injury left him unable to meet world champion Hassan Yastani on Friday.
Deepak, the second-ranked player in his division, could face 2018 world champion David Taylor of the United States, Sosoke Dakhtani of Japan and Arthur Nyfonov of Russia.
If he makes it to the semifinals, he could face the San Marino Miles Amin, and if he crosses that threshold, he will face Yastani in the final, the 74kg gold in Rio 2016, considered the best Iranian liberal in history.
Ravi Tahiya, who won a gold medal at the 2021 Asian Wrestling Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, is also looking forward to the upcoming Games.
In 2015, Ravi entered the international round as the runner-up for the Junior World Championships. Later, he finished second at the U23 World Cup in Bucharest, Romania.
His most important moment was winning the Senior World Cup bronze and Olympic allotment in October 2019. Also, he retained the Asian title in 2021 and won silver at the 61kg Polish Open, the last qualifying event for Tokyo.
Room / ABM
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