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Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya eliminated from Paris Olympics qualification race

Sonepat (Haryana), Mar 10 (PTI) Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya -- both Tokyo Games medallists -- were on Sunday eliminated from the race for the Paris Olympics qualification after losing their respective bouts in the selection trials for the upcoming international tournaments.

Sonepat (Haryana), Mar 10 (PTI) Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya -- both Tokyo Games medallists -- were on Sunday eliminated from the race for the Paris Olympics qualification after losing their respective bouts in the selection trials for the upcoming international tournaments.

Punia, who was a prominent face of protest against former WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, suffered a crushing 1-9 defeat in the men's freestyle 65kg semifinal against to Rohit Kumar.

This was after he barely managed to win against Ravinder (3-3 on criteria).

If Ravinder had not conceded a caution point in the bout, Punia would have been eliminated in the opening bout itself.

Punia left the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre here in a huff after being eliminated. The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials tried to collect sample for dope test from Punia but he did not stay back even for third-fourth place bout. Punia had trained in Russia to prepare for the trials, which are being organised by the IOA ad-hoc panel.

Punia though won a case in the Delhi High Court after contending that suspended Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had no authority to conduct trials.

The men's 57kg, being organised in Nordic format, was always a tough category since both Tokyo Games silver medallist Ravi Dahiya and star-in-making Aman Sehrawat were in contention.

Dahiya, who is making a comeback from an injury, lost the high-scoring opening bout 13-14 to Aman. Both of them train at Chhatarsal Stadium.

Aman has made a name for himself after winning medal at almost all tournaments in 2023 when Dahiya did not compete. Aman, the Asian Games bronze medallist, staved a last-minute push from Dahiya to win the close bout.

Dahiya lost the next bout to U20 Asian champion Udit to be eliminated.

The winners at the trials will get the opportunity to compete at Asian and World Olympic Qualifiers.

India have so far earned only one quota for the Paris Games through Antim Panghal (women's 53kg). PTI AT AT PDS PDS

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