Ravinder confirmed India’s first medal from the UWW Under-23 World Championships 2019 as he made it to the final of 61kg in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday. The 22-year-old put up a commanding display to pin senior European champion Arsen Harutyunan of Armenia to storm into the final with a 4-3 win.
Earlier, he had notched up a 12-1 win over Hungary’s Marcell Budai Kovacs in his opening bout and then followed it up with an 11-0 demolition of 2019 Russian National Freestyle Wrestling Championships bronze medallist Dinislam Takhtarov in the quarter-finals.
The Sonipat grappler, who won gold at the South Asian Games in 2016 and also a bronze at the Cadet Asian Championships in 2014, will be aiming for the biggest achievement of his career when he takes on Kyrgyzstan’s Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov in the summit showdown that is scheduled to take place at 10:30 pm IST tonight and will be streamed live on WrestlingTV.
In 74kg, Gaurav Baliyan will get another chance to take a medal after he made it to the repechage, where he faces USA’s Brady Gary Berge at 3pm IST today. Baliyan had made a fantastic start against Oleksandr Vyshniak of Ukraine in the qualifiers, whom he blanked 11-0. His challenge, however, came to an end at the hands of Russia’s Razambek Zhamalov. But with the latter reaching the final, Baliyan was presented with another opportunity.
Earlier on Tuesday, Veer Dev Gulia’s medal hopes ended when he lost the 79kg bronze medal contest 4-5 to Radik Valiev of Russia.
Naveen was in action in 70kg repechage against Mongolia’s Temuulen Enkhtuya, who edged past him 8-6. The biggest disappointment for the Indian squad was, however, the loss of Viky in 92kg.
Having won the silver at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships and a bronze at the Junior World Championships this year, a lot was expected of him. But he fell in his opening bout in 92kg when Switzerland’s Samuel Scherrer dismissed him 7-1.
Sanjeet could not get past Russia’s Azamat Zakuev, falling 0-6 in the qualifying bout in 86kg. Aryan Pratap fought hard in 125kg but was eventually shown the door in a 3-4 loss to top seed Hovhannes Maghakyan of Armenia.
On Wednesday, the women will begin their challenge. In 50kg, 10th seeded Jyoti faces ninth seed Yafremenka of Belarus while Pooja Yadav has a tough opener in 59kg as she faces the top seed Kennett of Canada.
Rani Rana in 55kg and Suman in 68kg will start their campaign from the qualifiers. While the former takes on USA’s Parrish, the latter has China’s Wang in her opening bout.
The entire action from the seven-day UWW U-23 World Championships 2019 is being streamed live and exclusive on www.wrestlingtv.in, India’s one-stop destination for wrestling news.
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