Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X

Bajrang Punia assured of seeding at Olympics, placed No. 2 in latest world rankings

By Pti

New Delhi, April 1: Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia is assured of a top-four seeding in the 65kg category at next year's Tokyo Olympics even if he skips the last ranking series tournament, going by the latest world standings.

The fast-rising Ravi Dahiya also seems set for a top-four billing at the mega-event, which will be held from July 23 to August 8 next year.

Wrestling's world governing body UWW announced the fresh rankings which placed Bajrang at number two in the 65kg category. Dahiya is fourth in the very competitive 57kg category. Russian Olympic champion Gadhzimurad Rashidov leads the 65kg rankings.

Four points separate Rashidov (60), Punia (59) and Kazakhstan's Daulet Niyazbekov (56) for the top seeding. But the Russian and Indian wrestlers have such commanding leads over the field that they can sit out of the final ranking series event and still earn a top-four seeding at the Olympic Games.

Rashidov owns the top spot in 65kg after finally claiming his long-awaited world gold in Nur-Sultan last season. Punia began the year ranked number three with 25 points after his world bronze medal. He has overthrown world finalist Niyazbekov for the number two ranking.

Punia added 16 points to his world championship total after he erased a three-point deficit against Jordan Oliver (USA) to win the 16-point Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series gold medal.

Although he stumbled in the Asian finals against 2018 world champion Takuto Otoguro(JPN), Punia collected 18 points and pushed himself to within one point of the Russian defending world champion.

The 57kg is led by reigning world champion and number one from Russia Zaur Uguev (60 points). World runner-up Suleyman Atli is firmly in the number two position after runner-up finishes at the World and European Championships.

He has 58 points and is followed by Stevan Micic (48) and Dahiya (45). Dahiya needs a 12-point finish at the final Ranking Series event to secure one of the top-four seeds. There is a slim chance that the Indian wrestler can grab the number one seeding.

For that to happen, Dahiya would need Uguev, Atli and Micic to sit out of the final Ranking Series event and win gold in a bracket with more than 11 wrestlers to earn the 16 points he needs to clear his top-three rivals.

Nurislam Sanayev is ranked fifth in this weight and trails Dahiya by six points. World Championship silver-medallist Deepak Punia is ranked second in 65kg behind Iranian great Hassan Yazdani, who underwent knee surgery earlier this year and had no choice but to skip the Matteo Pellicone and Asian Championships.

He commanded a 20-point lead over Deepak but the Indian wrestler closed that gap on Yazdani with a 14-point Asian championship bronze-medal finish. Deepak leads Russian Artur Naifonov by seven points after the conclusion of the continental championship season.

No Indian figures in top-10 of the 74kg, 97kg and 125kg categories, the three other olympic weight categories. The top four in each category will be seeded at the Tokyo Games, pushed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS
For Daily Alerts
Story first published: Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 17:44 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 1, 2020
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more