Wrestler Dhankar to replace below par Mann at Olympic qualifier


Sandeep Singh Mann’s below-par performance in the men’s 74 kg freestyle event at the recently-concluded Asian Olympic qualifier in Almaty cost him a place for next month’s World Olympic qualifier in Sofia.

Amit Dhankar, who had finished second in the national selection trials held earlier this month, will replace Mann at the World Olympic qualifier scheduled to be held from May 6 to 9 in Sofia.

“We were expecting Mann, 21, who had won the national trials to give a good performance in the continental competition but he failed to live up to expectations. Since there is no time to conduct another round of trials, we selected Dhankar for the qualifier which is the last tournament to make cut for the Tokyo Olympics,” said Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

The WFI has made no changes in men’s 97 kg and 125 kg freestyle events.

“Satyawart Kadiyan wasn’t impressive in 97 kg but he managed to win bronze. So we are giving him another chance to qualify for the Olympics,” added Tomar.

The WFI will field Sumit Malik in the 125 kg event.

The wrestling body has made two changes in the Greco-Roman category. Sachin Rana will replace Gyanendra in the 60 kg while Deepanshu will compete in 97kg. Ravi’s average performance in the 97 kg in Almaty cost him a place in the team.

Aashu (67 kg), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Deepanshu (97kg) and Naveen Kumar (130kg) are other members of the national Greco-Roman team.

Seema (50 kg), Nisha (68kg) and Pooja (76 kg) are the three main wrestlers in women’s team.