Last opportunity for Indian wrestlers to secure Paris Olympic berths

A total of 14 Indian wrestlers, including Aman Sehrawat and Deepak Punia, are set to compete for Paris 2024 Olympic spots at the World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers in Istanbul, Turkey, beginning on May 9. The Istanbul event offers the last chance for wrestlers to secure their places at the upcoming Summer Games, with three Olympic quotas available in each weight class.

In each division, the two finalists will secure Olympic quotas for their countries, while the third spot will be awarded to the winner of a playoff bout between the two bronze medallists. To date, India has achieved four Olympic quotas in wrestling for Paris 2024, all in women’s events. Antim Panghal (53kg) earned India’s first quota at the 2023 World Wrestling Championships, and Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Reetika Hooda (76kg) secured additional spots at the last month’s Asian Qualifiers in Bishkek.

At the Istanbul qualifiers, India’s female contingent will have Mansi Ahlawat (62kg) and Nisha (68kg). Ahlawat, who narrowly missed a quota in Bishkek, is aiming to overcome that disappointment in Istanbul. India have a proud history in men’s freestyle wrestling, with five medals from the last four editions of the Summer Games, including two from Tokyo 2020. Yet, the outlook for men’s freestyle wrestling at Paris 2024 remains uncertain. The responsibility falls on Aman Sehrawat, a former Asian and U-23 world champion, and Olympian Deepak Punia to turn the tide in Istanbul.

Aman, who competes in the same division as Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Ravi Dahiya, fell just short of a quota at the Asian qualifiers in Bishkek and is eager to capitalise on this final opportunity. Deepak Punia, narrowly missing a medal at Tokyo 2020, and Sujeet Kalakal, who shares a division with Tokyo bronze medallist Bajrang Punia, are also ready to compete after missing the Bishkek event due to flight delays caused by heavy rainfall in Dubai.

India will also be on the hunt for Olympic quotas in all six Graeco-Roman categories.

Indian wrestlers at World Wrestling Olympic Qualifiers 2024

Men’s freestyle: Aman Sehrawat (57kg), Sujeet (65kg), Jaideep (74kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Deepak (97kg), Sumit (125kg)

Women’s freestyle: Mansi (62kg), Nisha (68kg)

Men’s Greco-Roman: Sumit (60kg), Ashu (67kg), Vikas (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Nitesh (97kg), Naveen (130kg)