Saurabh Igave missed out on the bronze medal at the U23 World Wrestling Championships 2021 in Belgrade, Serbia, on Saturday but his fellow Indian grapplers Parveen Malik and Mohit made it through to the repechage rounds in their respective categories.
Saurabh Igave, who made it to the men’s 57kg bronze medal match on Friday, lost 10-0 by technical superiority against Armenia’s Manvel Khndzrtsyan, who earned his shot at the podium through repechage.
Parveen Malik, a former junior Asian champion, beat Guinea-Bissau’s Caetano Antonio Sa 12-1 (technical superiority) in the men’s 74kg qualifying round but lost to Iran’s Mohmmadsadegh Biglar Firouzpourbandpei 10-2 in the round of 16.
However, with the Iranian making the final, Parveen Malik now has a shot at the bronze medal through the repechage. He faces Polish wrestler Szymon Wojtkowski in his repechage bout.
Mohit, competing in the 125kg category, will also be competing in the repechage on Sunday.
The Indian grappler started by beating Puerto Rico’s Blas Alejandro Ortiz Alayon 11-0 in the round of 16, but lost his second bout to Greece’s Azamat Khosonov 4-2. Koshonov’s progression to the final, though, guarantees Mohit another opportunity through repechage.
Mohit’s opponent in his repechage bout will be Kazakhstan’s Bakdaulet Osserbay.
National champion Sandeep Singh Mann, though, wasn’t so lucky. Sandeep, who started his campaign from the round of 16, eased past Lithuania’s Kornelijus Stulginskas 14-4 in his opening bout but couldn’t get past Russian Wrestling Federation’s Zagid Karimov, losing 7-3, in the quarter-finals.
Sandeep’s repechage hopes ended after Karimov lost in the semis.
In the 61kg, Suraj Rajkumar Kokate bowed out in the qualification round following a 10-0 defeat (technical superiority) to USA’s Christopher Cannon. Guradeshwar Singh also suffered a similar fate after a loss to Belarus’ Arkadzi Pahasian in the 92kg qualifiers.
Indian wrestlers have won five medals at the Belgrade meet so far, with all of them coming from women’s wrestlers. Shivani Pawar won silver in 50kg while Anju, Divya Kakran, Nisha and Radhika picked up bronze medals in their respective weight classes.
India’s Greco-Roman wrestlers drew a blank while the men’s freestyle grapplers are yet to open their medals account at the event.
With Sunday marking the final day of the meet, Parveen Malik and Mohit will be India’s last hopes to add to the medals tally.