Budapest: India's Sumit Malik put himself in line to win the biggest medal of his career as he will fight for a bronze at the Wrestling World Championships even as Sonba Tanaji Gogane was outclassed by reigning European champion Rashidov Gadzhimurad in the men's freestyle quarter-finals on Saturday.
Malik, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallist, overcame Inkar Yermukambet of Kazakhstan 6-1 in the quarterfinals after beating Japan's Taiki Yamamoto 4-1 in the pre-quarter-finals of the 125kg category.
However, he later lost his semi-final 0-5 to China's Zhewei Ding. In the bronze medal match, he will take to the mat on Sunday.
It was a favourable draw for the Asian Championship silver medallist and Malik made most of it as he was knocked out at preliminary stage last year. Malik had returned empty-handed from the Jakarta Asian Games this year.
Gogane made a stupendous start by winning two bouts but was outwitted by Rashidov in the 61kg quarter-finals.
It was always going to be a tough challenge for Gogane as he was up against last year's World Championships silver medallist and two-time European champion.
Gogane started aggressively but Rashidov's stoic defence meant that the Indian was forced to slow down. The Russian got on board with a takedown and then opened up a 4-0 lead with an expose. It pegged the Indian back.
The Russian further consolidated his lead with a leg hold and by the end of period one, he was leading 6-0.
With 40 seconds to go in the bout, Rashidov stunned Gogane by lifting him on his shoulder. The Russian pulled the Indian down for a four-point move, ending the bout in his favour with almost half-a-minute left.
Gogane had beaten Andrei Bekrenu 4-3 and Lowe Bingham (10-0) in the qualification rounds.
He still has a chance to reach the bronze medal round as he has got a repechage round against Tuvshintulga Tumenbileg from Mongolia.
However, it was all over for Jitender, who had replaced Sushil Kumar in the Indian squad, as he lost his 1/16 bout 3-6 to Slovakia's Akhsarbek Gulaev in the 74kg contest.
Pawan Kumar faded in the 86kg category, as he could not go even beyond the qualification round. He lost 0-6 to Ukraine's Mraz Dzhafarian.
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Updated Date: Oct 21, 2018 07:58:21 IST