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Indian grappler Ravinder settles for silver at U-23 World Wrestling Championship

Budapest: Indian grappler Ravinder settled for a silver medal after going down to Kyrgyzstan’s Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov in the 61kg final at the Under-23 World Wrestling Championship here on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Indian suffered a 3-5 loss to Ulukbek, the current Asian U-23 champion in 61kg.

Despite the loss, it was a creditable performance from Ravinder, who had won gold at the South Asian Games in 2016 and also a bronze at the Cadet Asian Championships in 2014.

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This was India’s first medal in the 2019 edition and overall fifth silver at the Championships. Bajrang Punia (65kg), Vinod Kumar (70kg) and women wrestler Ritu Phogat (48kg) had won a silver each in the first edition in Poland.

Last year, Ravi Dhaiya (57kg) was the only Indian wrestler to return with a medal when he claimed a silver in Bucharest, Romania.

READ| Jyoti enters semifinals of Under-23 World Wrestling Championship

Ravinder had his chances in the final but he couldn’t outwit Ulukbek, a bronze winner at the Senior Asian Championships in 2018.

The Indian led till the end of the first period but a strong comeback from Ulukbek ensured that the latter won the bout 5-3 by superiority of play.

Ravinder did try hard and used a strong flip in the second period to get two points but that was in vain as he had to settle for the silver medal.

Earlier, the 22-year-old Indian had pinned senior European champion Arsen Harutyunan of Armenia to storm into the final with a 4-3 win.

Ravinder had notched up a 12-1 win over Hungary’s Marcell Budai Kovacs in his opening bout and then followed it up with an 11-0 demolition of Russia’s Dinislam Takhtarov in the quarterfinals.

Among the other Indians, Jyoti stormed into the semifinals on Wednesday with a 12-1 win over Moldova’s Maria Leorda in the women’s 50kg bout.

The youngster made it to the quarters with a 6-1 win over Belarus’ Tatsiana Yafremenka.

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