World Wrestling C’ships: Deepak in Final, Rahul Eyeing Bronze
Rahul Aware (left) and Deepak Punia will be in action for India at Day 8 of World Wrestling Championships 2019.
Rahul Aware (left) and Deepak Punia will be in action for India at Day 8 of World Wrestling Championships 2019.(Photo: The Quint)

World Wrestling C’ships: Deepak in Final, Rahul Eyeing Bronze


  • Deepak Punia will take on Hassan Yazdani of Iran in the 86kg final on Sunday, 22 September.
  • Rahul Aware (61kg) will be part of the bronze-medal bout.
  • On Saturday, Deepak also secured a 2020 Tokyo Olympic berth.
  • Till now, India have three medals in their kitty - all bronze.

Day 8: Rahul Aware, Deepak Punia in Action

It is Day 8 of the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan and four Indians, including Commonwealth Games champion Rahul Aware, will be starting their campaigns today.

Besides, Deepak Punia (86kg), Jitender (79kg) and Mausam Khatri (97kg) will also be vying for medals in their respective weight categories.

While Deepak Punia and Mausam Khatri will also be looking to book an Olympic berth, Rahul and Jitender are competing in non-Olympic category.

Rahul Aware has got a bye in the first round. The five-time national champion will begin his campaign in 61kg from the second round and will be up against the winner of the first round match between Kerim Hojakow of Turkmenistan and Elmedin Sejfulau of North Macedonia.

In 79kg, Jitender will start from the qualifying rounds against Moldova’s Gheorghi Pascalov. Deepak Punia will face local favourite Adilet Davlumbayev of Kazakhstan in the first round match in the 86kg category.

Meanwhile, in 97kg Mausam Khatri will take on Kyle Snyder directly in the Round of 16.

If India wins a medal today then it will India’s best-ever medal return from the World Championships. Till now India’s most successful run at the competition was six years back in 2013 when they won 2 bronze and a silver. Amit Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Sandeep Tulsi Yadav stood on the podium.

Bajrang Punia Still Unhappy, Despite Bagging Bronze

It looks like World Championship Bronze medallisy Bajrang Punia can’t get over his controversial semi-final loss to Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan.

On Friday, after his win Bajrang expressed his disappointment.

"I will never forget what they did to me. I was so heartbroken that I did not even want to fight for bronze,” Bajrang lamented.

This tweet is an extension of that grief. Bajrang had lost the semi-final on criteria after being tied 9-9.

A Look at Rahul Aware's Career So Far

(Photo: PTI)

Second seed in the 61kg category, Rahul Aware finished his season with a gold-medal performance at the Yasar Dogu.

The win at Yasar Dogu came after he won bronze medals at the Asian Championships in Xian this year and City of Sassari Tournament.

Rahul replaced Colon and Rashidov from the rankings to take the number two seed at 61kg.

Last year, Rahul also bagged the gold in the 57kg category at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Deepak Punia: Junior World Champion

Deepak Punia is the new kid in the block in the Indian wrestling scene.

Deepak announced his arrival in style winning the India's first junior world title in 18 years at Junior World Championships in Tallinn, Estonia last month.

Earlier, he won a bronze at the Asian Championships. He followed that up with a pair of top-three finishes at the final Ranking Series events -- the City of Sassari Tournament and Yasar Dogu.

4th seed in 86kg category, Deepak will look to book an Olympic berth at Nur-Sultan.

79kg: Jitender in Action Shortly

Jitender will begin the proceedings for India on Day 8. Competing in the 79kg category, the Indian will take on Moldova’s Gheorghi Pascalov on Mat B.

Let’s hope India get to a good start today.

79kg: Jitender Lead 5-2 After Rd 1

After a subdued start, both wrestlers suddenly upped the ante. But it was India’s Jitender, who go the better of his Moldovian opponent.

Jitender first grabbed a 2-pointer. Pascalov followed it with a 1 point. But after that the Indian scored 2 points and 1 point to end the first three minutes with a 5-2 advantage.

79kg: Jitender Starts With a Win

Leading 5-2 at the halfway mark, Jitender’s defending was on target. He even managed to collect another 2 points in the second half to breeze into the next round of the 79kg category.

Jitender beat Moldova’s Gheorghi Pascalov 7-2.

86kg: Deepak Punia's Bout Shortly

Deepak will look to continue the good start provided by Jitender.

The Junior World Champion will take on Adilet Davlumbayev of Kazakhstan on Mat B in the first round match of 86kg.

Deepak is seeded fourth in his category.

86kg: Deepak Trails 3-5

An exciting first three minutes. Davlumbayev collected 4 points in the very first minute of the bout with an early leg attack.

Punia was trailing 0-5 when he scored his first 2 points. He scored a caution point later to finish the first round at 3-5.

86kg: Deepak In Round of 16

Deepak started the second half on a good note. He levelled with a 2-point takedown after Davlumbayev went for a leg attack.

In the last minute of the bout, both wrestlers showed great aggression at the edge of the mat. Deepak and Davlumbayev were awarded 2 points each but the local favourite went for a challenge.

Unfortunately, the Kazakh wrestler ended up losing a point for a throw and the Indian got another point for the lost challenge. Punia won 8-6 to ease into the next round.

So far, so good for India!

97kg: Mausam Khatri Loses First Match

That was quick! First loss for India on Day 8.

Top seeded Kyle Frederick Snyder of USA beat India’s Mausam Khatri without dropping a sweat in their Round of 16 match in 97kg. It was never going to easy against Olympic and World Champion as Snyder won 10-0 on technical superiority inside the first three minutes.

With Snyder looking good for place in the final, the only hope for Mausam is a repechage opportunity.

61kg: Big Lead For Rahul

A good start for Rahul. A take down and an exposure gave Rahul 4 points after he started with a passivity point.

Rahul led Kerim Hojakov 5-0 at the end of Round 1.

61kg: Easy Win for Rahul

After getting a bye in the first round, the five-time national champion beat Kerim Hojakow of Turkmenistan 13-2 on technical superiority to enter the quarters of 61 kg.

Rahul was leading 5-0 at the break. But Hojakov started the second period with a two-point takedown . Aware also retaliated with with a takedown and a leg grip to clinch the bout.

79kg: Quiet Rd 1 for Jitender

Jitender collected only a solitary passivity points in the first three minutes against Muhammet Nuri Kotanoglu of Turkey. Jitender led 1-0.

79kg: Jitender in Quarters

After a subdued first round, Jitender was back in his elements in the last 90 seconds of the bout against third seed Muhammet Nuri Kotanoglu of Turkey.

Jitender started the second half giving away a passivity points. But he came back well to score three back-to-back 2 points to finish the bout 7-1.

With this win, Jitender books a place in the quarterfinals of 79kg.

86kg: Deepak Leads 3-0

Good start for Deepak against Bakhodur Kadirov of Tajikistan. At the end of Round 1, Deepak leads 3-0 after scoring from a touchdown.

86kg: Quarters for Deepak Punia, Too

In the second round, Deepak Punia foils all leg attack from Kadirov to win the round 6-0. Deepak also qualifies for the quarters, after Rahul and. A win in the next round guarantees him a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

61kg: Rahul Aware Books a Spot in Semis

Rahul Aware continues India’s good run on Day 8. He enters the semi-finals of the 61kg.

A thrilling quarter-final bout till Rahul scored four quick points with a throw in the last minute of the bout. Rahul won the fight 10-7 against former Asian champion Rassul Kaliyev of Kazakhstan.

Kaliyev, who gave a tough fight, was leading, 3-2 at the break.

79kg: Jitender Loses in the Quarters

Tough luck for Jitender!

He was having a great day till the quarterfinal match against Taimuraz Salkazanov of Slovakia. The defense of the Slovakian was too good for Jitender. Despite repeated attacks he failed to breach it.

Jitender lost 0-4. But he still has a chance to win a medal if Salkazanov enters the final.

86kg: Double Delight For Deepak Punia

Not only a spot in the semi-finals of the 86kg category, Deepak Punia books a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Deepak beat Carlos Arturo Mendez of Colombia to win his quarter-final bout. The junior world champion was trailing 3-6 till the last 30 seconds. Deepak managed a takedown and an exposure in the dying minutes of the bout to win 7-6.

Another thrilling bout!

Day 8: Semi-Final From 4:15 PM

Two Indians have made it to the semi-finals on Day 8 of the World Wrestling Championships.

  • In the 61kg, Rahul Aware will face Beko Lomtadze of Georgia
  • In the 86kg, Deepak Punia will take on Stefan Reichmuth of Switzerland

97kg: Mausam Still in the Fray

India’s Mausam Khatri can still hope of making it to the repechage round.

His first round opponent top seed Kyle Snyder of USA enters the semi-final in the 97kg category. A win in the semi-final will pave the way for Khatri to enter the repechage rounds.

Mausam lost to Snyder 10-0 in his first bout of the day.

Day 8: Great First Session for India

Despite two loses, it was a great morning session for the Indian contingent.

While Rahul Aware (61kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) lived up to their billings and qualified for the semi-finals in their respective categories, Jitender (79kg) made it till the quarters. He still can make it to the repechage round.

Also Read : World C’ships: Wrestler Deepak Punia Books a Berth For Tokyo 2020

In fact, India’s Mausam Khatri (97kg), who lost his first bout, is also in the fray for a spot in the repechage round.

So, four medals on Day 8 still a possibility.

65kg Semis: Rahul Loses 6-10

Rahul Aware bows out in the semi-finals of the 61kg. The five-time national champion lost to Beko Lomtadze of Georgia 6-10.

Lomtadze was too good for Rahul. After taking a 4-0, the Georgian extended his lead to 7-1 going into the break.

But Rahul made a good comeback in the second half to go from 2-8 to 6-8. In the dying minutes the Indian gave Lomtadze a scare. But Lomtadze prevailed to qualify for the finals.

But medal hope still alive for Rahul as he will now compete in the bronze-medal bout on Sunday, 22 September.

86kg Semis: Deepak Punia in the Final

(Photo: UWW)

And India assured of their fourth medal in World Championships!

Deepak Punia defeated Stefan Reichmuth of Switzerland 8-2 in the semi-finals of the 86kg category. With this win, the junior world champion books a place in the final and also ensured that India will have their best-ever medal haul from the World Championships.

After a quiet start in the first round, Deepak Punia took complete control in the second half. Deepak was leading 1-0 at the end of the first three minutes, courtesy a shot clock. After the break, Deepak scored a flurry of touchdowns to clinch the bout.

What a year Deepak Punia is having!

Great Going For Deepak Punia

2019 is already looking like a landmark year for wrestler Deepak Punia.

After being crowned the Junior World Champion in August this year, Deepak looks good for a gold medal at Nur-Sultan. But the Indian needs to beat Hassan Yazdani of Iran on Sunday, 22 September to take home the top honour.

Till date, the only Indian to win a gold medal in the world championship is Sushil Kumar in the 66 kg category, who achieved the feat in 2010 in Moscow.

When Deepak had won the Junior World Championships, that time also he was the first Indian to do so in 18 years.

Apart from this he had also won the Cadet world championship in 2016 and missed out on a bronze in the junior worlds in 2017. In 2018 he won the silver medal in Slovakia.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow!

Both Jitender & Mausam Knocked Out

Medal hopes dashed for the losing duo of Jitender (79kg) and Mausam (97kg).

Taimuraz Salkazanov, who defeated Jitender in the quarterfinals, lost his semis bout 3-4 to Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil Hasanov. Salkazanov’s defeat means Jitender won’t get a repechage opportunity.

Mausam also suffered a similar fate. Top seed Kyle Snyder of USA, who beat the Indian in his first round, lost 2-5 to Sharifov in the semi-final ending Mausam’s repechage hopes.

Day 9: Indians in Action

Deepak Punia will face Hassan Yazdani of Iran in the 86kg final while Rahul Aware will fighting for a bronze medal but his challenger will be decided through the repechage round, which will also take place on Sunday, 22 September.

Whatever be the results of these two matches, India is assured of a fourth medal which will make the 2019 World Championships India’s most successful campaign till date with four medals.

Also Read : Deepak Books Tokyo 2020 Quota, to Fight For Gold at World C’ships

Till now India’s most successful run at the competition was six years back in 2013 when they won 2 bronze and a silver. Amit Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Sandeep Tulsi Yadav stood on the podium.

Meanwhile, India already have three medals in their kitty, which are three bronze medals won by Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya.

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