Neeraj wins Greco-Roman bronze in Bolat Turlykhanov Cup to open India account

On day one of the 2022 Bolat Turlykhanov Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Indian wrestler Neeraj won the Greco-Roman bronze medal at 63kg. Neeraj stopped Ahmet Uyar of Turkey to win India’s first medal in the ranking series event in Almaty after advancing through the repechage rounds.

Arjun Halakuri and Satish, two other Indian wrestlers, were defeated in their bronze medal matches. Asian bronze medalist Arjun Halakuri was beaten by Aslamdzhon Azizov of Tajikistan in the 55kg competition due to his technical superiority. Meanwhile, Satish, a super heavy grappler, was beaten by Iranian Aliakbar Yousofiahmadchali in the 130kg division after the Indian received three bookings. Satish was eliminated in the quarter-finals but qualified through a repechage.

At Thursday’s Almaty event, four more Greco-Roman wrestlers from India competed, but none advanced to the medal rounds. Local wrestler Olzhas Syrlybay beat Deepanshu (97kg) in the repechage, while Gyanender (60kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg) and Sachin Sahrawat (67kg) all lost in the qualifying round. Rio 2016 bronze medalist Sakshi Malik will compete in the women’s 62kg division on Friday. Starting Saturday, the freestyle wrestlers will compete.

Freestyle wrestling also happens to be the strongest suit for the Indians, where many medals can be expected from them.

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Robert J. King