Indian wrestler Sumit Malik qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the men’s 125 kg freestyle category with a landslide victory over Venezuelan Jose Daniel Diaz Robertti in the semi-final of the Olympic qualifiers for World Wrestling in Sofia. , Bulgaria. He is the seventh Indian wrestler to qualify for the Games.
Sumit had a slim 0-1 lead halfway through the fight and widened the gap, ultimately winning by a 5-0 margin.
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He joins Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) among the male wrestlers who made the cup for Tokyo. Vinesh Phogat (53 kg), Anshu Malik (57 kg) and Sonam Malik (62 kg) are the three women to have taken part in the quadrennial event, which begins on July 23.
In the qualifying round, Sumit found himself trailing 1-2 against Kyrgyzstan’s Aiaal Lazarev as the fight entered the final 25 seconds. Luckily for the Indian, he got a starting point towards the final moments of the competition and clinched victory on criteria, with a score tied at 2-2.
Sumit had another tough game in the pre-quarterfinals against Moldovan Alexandr Romanov and once again had to come from behind to progress. The match ended 2-2, as the 28-year-old won the game on criteria as in the previous round.
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The quarterfinal contest saw him change gears. Against Tajikistan Rustam Iskandari, he struggled at first and conceded a 2-4 lead. However, Sumit scored four points from two points to comfortably pocket the contest and advance to the semi-finals of the tournament and thus qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
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The finalists of this competition will win direct places at the Tokyo Olympics. Amit Dhankar (74 kg) and Satiywart Kadiyan (97 kg) were eliminated earlier from the event. Seema Bisla (50kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg) and Pooja (76kg) will be in action in the women’s section.