Indian wrestlers Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia began their Olympics campaigns with technical superiority victories, reaching the men’s freestyle 57kg and 86kg quarterfinals respectively with ease in Tokyo on Wednesday (August 4).
The 19-year-old Anshu Malik though lost the women’s 57kg opener to European champion Irina Kurachikina of Belarus 2-8.
The fourth-seeded Dahiya consistently attacked the right leg of Colombia’s Tigreros Urbano and he remained dominant, apart from conceding a take-down in the first period.
Dahiya, the reigning Asian champion, nailed the win with one minute and 10 seconds still remaining in the bout, which was stopped after he raced to a winning 13-2 lead.
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The Indian effected five take-down moves in the second period, showing his technical prowess.
Dahiya will next face Bulgaria’s Georgi Valentinov Vangelov, who also beat his first round opponent Abdelhak Kherbache of Algeria by technical superiority.
Deepak Punia (freestyle 86kg) made the most of an easy draw by getting past Nigeria’s Ekerekeme Agiomor, the African championship bronze medallist.
The Nigerian had the power but Deepak was technically sound and won comfortably.
He will now be up against China’s Zushen Lin.
Asian champion Anshu made a strong comeback after conceding a 0-4 lead against the Belarusian with two push out points. She also managed to get hold of Kurachikina’s right leg but could not complete the move.
On the counter attack, Anshu conceded another two-pointer but kept fighting. The European relied on her experience to prevail. Anshu’s chances to come back in the competition will depend on Kurachikina’s progress. If the Belarusian makes the final, Anshu will get a repechage round.