Deepak Punia starts campaign on last day of Asian Championships 2020

By   - 22/02/2020

Deepak Punia will be entering the New Delhi bound Asian Wrestling Championships on Sunday with lots of expectations on his young shoulders.

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Deepak could not play the finals of the 2019 World Championships due to injury and suffered an ignominious defeat in the Rome Ranking series first round. Deepak, who has already secured an Olympic berth courtesy a silver at Nur-Sultan, will open his campaign against Gankhuyag Ganbaatar of Mongolia in the quarterfinals of the 86kg category bouts. Gankhuyag, who won bronze in the 2019 Asian Championships, might give a tough fight to Deepak.

Deepak may also meet Ahmed Yousef Bazrighaleh in the finals if both grapplers win their games. Bazrighaleh, who is a gold medallist at U23 Asian Championships last year, may pose a threat for the Indian.

61kg

Rahul Aware is another hope for India though in a non-Olympic category. The 2019 World Championships bronze medallist will be starting his day against Muhammed Bilal of Pakistan. Bilal, who had won silver in the Commonwealth games in 2018 and bronze in Commonwealth championships 2017, is not seen as a tough contender for Aware but its always better to be careful.

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74kg

Jitender will be eyeing a lot more than a medal. He has got a right to represent India as the nation’s most successful Olympian wrestler Sushil Kumar had opted out of the national team selection trials. A medal here will seal Jitender’s place in Indian squad for the Asian Olympic Qualifying Championships next month. Any failure will bring Sushil back in contention, who is still aiming for his last shot for yet another Olympics glory.

The 2017 Commonwealth Championships gold medallist, Jitender is drawn to meet Thailand’s Parinya Chamnanjan in the 74kg qualification round. Up next lie for him some tough challenge from Iran’s Mostafa Hosseinkhaini, 2016 Asian Championships gold medallist.

92kg

Sombir will be representing India in this category. The 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, will meet Ajiniyaz Saparniyazov of Uzbeksitan. Saparniyazov had bagged silver in the last Asian Championships as a junior wrestler.

125kg

Satender, who replaced heavyweight Sumit Malik after the latter suffered an injury ahead of the championships, will start his campaign against Sukhrobjon Mukaramov of Uzbekistan, who is not seen as a major worry for the Indian, in the qualification round. If he wins the bout, Satender might meet either Farkhod Anakulov of Tajakistan or Yusup Batirmurzaev of Kazakhstan. Batirmurzaev, who bagged Bronze in the Rome Ranking series 2020 and World Championships last year, may come across as troublesome for Satender.

CLICK HERE: LIVE Streaming of Asian Wrestling Championships 2020

Asian Wrestling Champions 2020 Full Schedule, India squad, Where to watch live: All You Need to Know

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