World Wrestling Championships: Rohit Kumar loses bronze bout, India draw blank in freestyle

Rohit Kumar was pinned by Mongolia’s Tömör-Ochiryn Tulga in the men’s 65kg bronze medal bout. None of the 10 Indian freestyle wrestlers won a medal at the meet.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by United World Wrestling/ Tony Rotundo

The 10-member Indian freestyle contingent failed to bring home a medal at the World Wrestling Championships 2021 after Rohit Kumar lost 10-4 to Tömör-Ochiryn Tulga of Mongolia in his 65kg bronze medal bout in Oslo, Norway on Monday.

Rohit Kumar qualified for the medal round after a 12-2 win over Turkey’s Selahattin Kilicsallayan in the repechage. But up against the 23-year-old Tömör-Ochiryn Tulga in the bronze match, Rohit Kumar was pinned in the fifth minute of the bout.

Sushil, meanwhile, lost 5-2 to Zurabi Iakobishvili of Georgia in the opening round of the 65kg category.

The Indian 97kg national champion, Satyawart Kadian, too, couldn’t go past the qualifying round. He lost to Minwon Seo of South Korea 6-6, on criteria.

In wrestling, if the score is tied at the end of the two rounds, the wrestler who scored with a higher scoring move is declared winner by criteria. Seo’s highest-scoring move in the match was a two-pointer while Kadian’s was a one-point move.

From the 10 Indian freestyle wrestlers in the men’s category, only Rohit Kumar and Ravinder Dahiya managed to make it to the medal rounds. Both fought for the bronze and lost.

India had managed four medals in men’s freestyle in the last edition of the world championships held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan in 2019.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg), Rahul Aware (61kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) had each won a bronze, while Deepak Punia (86kg) won a silver medal. All four skipped the ongoing meet.

Pinki makes bronze medal bout

India, however, will be in with another chance to land a bronze on Tuesday after Pinki made the medal bout following a close loss in the semi-final of the women’s 55kg freestyle category.

The women’s wrestling division began on Monday. In the 55kg semis, Pinki almost pinned Germany’s Nina Hemmer in the opening round but the German managed to escape. Nina Hemmer came back strong in the second round to win 8-6.

Pinki had earlier beaten Korea's Kim Soyeon 5-0 in the qualification round and later pinned Aisha Ualishan of Kazakhstan to make the semis.

Meanwhile, India’s Sangeeta Phogat was ousted from the 62kg after a 6-4 loss to Laís Nunes of Brazil in the round of 16. The youngest wrestler from the famed Phogat family earlier beat Germany’s Luisa Niemesch 5-2 in the qualifying round.