Sandeep books berth for Asian wrestling Olympic qualifiers

National 74kg freestyle champion Sandeep Singh on Tuesday ended former world bronze medallist Narsingh Yadav’s dream of competing at next month’s Asian Olympic Games qualifiers with a second-round win at the trials here.

In a star-studded field, the 21-year-old Punjab wrestler defeated Asian medallists Amit Dhankar 2-1 in the final during the national selection trials held Tuesday at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex, and booked a berth for the Asian Olympic qualifiers, to be held next month in Almaty.

In the first round Singh outplayed Pritam while his victim in the second round was Yadav.

“It was tough three rounds in the selection trials, but I managed to stay focused to win a place in the national team for the continental competition,” Singh told IANS.

With this win on Tuesday, Singh has cemented his place in the tough 74kg weight category that has India’s top wrestlers, like Asian medallist Jitender Kumar, who lost to Dhankar in the second semi-final of the national selection trials.

In January, Singh was a surprise winner in the 74kg category of the National Championship held in NOIDA in Uttar Pradesh.

In the 97kg freestyle event, Satyawart Kaidan was the winner while Sumit Malik was selected in the 125kg freestyle.

In the Greco Roman category, six wrestlers have been selected for the Asian Olympic qualifiers. They are Gyanender (60kg), Ashu (67), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Sumit Kumar (87kg), Ravi (97kg) and Naveen Kumar (130kg).