Wrestler Nisha Dahiya secures Paris Olympics 2024 quota for India

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Public TV English
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ISTANBUL: Nisha Dahiya secured a Paris Olympics 2024 quota for India in the women’s freestyle 68 kg category at the World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers in Istanbul, Turkey, on Friday. This was the fifth Paris 2024 wrestling quota for India. All have come through women’s grapplers. India failed to secure a quota in Greco-Roman.

The Istanbul meet is the final opportunity for wrestlers to obtain a quota for the upcoming Summer Games. Three Paris 2024 Olympic quotas are on offer in each weight class. The two finalists in each division will obtain Paris 2024 Olympic quotas for their respective countries. The third spot, meanwhile, will go to the winner of the playoff bout between the two bronze medallists in the weight class.

Nisha beat individual neutral athlete Alina Shauchuk, a former U23 world championships silver medallist, 3-0 in the round of 16 before edging out Adela Hanzlickova of Czechia, the top seed, 7-4 in the semi-finals. Facing Romania’s decorated Alexandra Anghel, a former world championships bronze medal winner and European champion, in the semi-finals, the Indian wrestler came up trumps under pressure to pick up an 8-4 win and an Olympic quota to go with it.

Antim Panghal (53kg) obtained India’s first quota from the 2023 World Wrestling Championships while Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Reetika Hooda (76kg) added to the tally at the Asian Qualifiers in Bishkek last month. Mansi Ahlawat’s quota quest in the women’s 62kg, however, was ended by Veranika Ivanova in the round of 16.

It’s the first time India will have five women wrestling at the Olympics. There were four at Tokyo 2020. However, as National Olympic Committees (NOC) have the exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games, athletes’ participation at the Paris Games depends on their NOC selecting them to represent their delegation at Paris 2024.

India’s hopes of representation in Greco-Roman wrestling at the upcoming Summer Games meanwhile ended after Sunil Kumar was knocked out in the repechage of the men’s 87 kg division

Sunil Kumar, who won a bronze medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year, beat Greece’s Ilias Pagkalidis 10-3 in his first repechage bout but lost to Sweden’s Alex Kessidis 9-4 in the next. He needed to win four bouts on Friday to obtain a quota.

This will be the second straight Summer Games where India will not have any representation in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympics. Indian wrestlers failed to make the cut for Tokyo 2020 as well. The last time Indian Greco-Roman wrestlers competed in the Olympics was at Rio 2016.

Six Indian men’s freestyle grapplers will start their hunt for Olympic quotas on Saturday. (ANI)

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