By our correspondent
BELGRADE, Serbia: Pakistan’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam fell in the first round when he was undone by Taimuraz Friev of Spain 11-1 in the 86 kilogramme competitions of the World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade on Saturday.
It means Inam lost the first golden opportunity to press for the 2024 Paris Olympics seat. Taimuraz, who is from Russian origin and is Olympian, also then was floored in the second round show by Rasul Tsikhayev who is a Belarusian wrestler but is playing as individual neutral athlete in the World Championships.
Inam was leading 1-0 in the first round. However in the second round Taimuraz, after a tough battle, managed a technique which earned him ten points and so he won the fight.
“It happens so in wrestling,” Pakistan Wrestling Federation’s (PWF) vice-president Arshad Sattar told thecricketplus.com after Inam’s loss in the crucial event which also serves as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“Inam is fit and he still has a chance to bounce back and earn Olympics seat as he has two more qualifying rounds at his disposal next year,” Arshad said.
“He is an experienced wrestler and I think he should qualify,” Arshad was quick to add.
In April 2024 Bishkek will host the Asian Qualifying round in which top two wrestlers in each weight category will qualify for the Olympics. And then Istanbul will host the world qualifying round in May which will see three grapplers qualifying for the Paris 2024.
On Sunday Pakistan’s two more wrestlers Mohammad Bilal and Youth Olympics bronze medallist Inayatullah will flex their muscles and will press for the Olympics seats.
Bilal will meet top seed Zou Wanhao of China in the 57 kilogramme preliminaries. Bilal is an experienced wrestler and it is expected that he will live up to the billings.
“Yes his opponent is very good but Bilal is also a smart wrestler. He has all the experience and fitness. I think he should beat the Chinese,” Arshad said.
Arshad was supposed to coach the trio but he could not proceed to Serbia after getting visa late.
Now Inam will handle the rest of the two wrestlers who will compete on Sunday (today).
Inayatullah, who has got bye in the first round, will meet on Sunday (today) the winner of the fight between Lee Seung Chul of Korea and Shapiev Rasul of North Macedonia in the 74 kilogramme fight.
Inyat is the most talented wrestler and Arshad expects a lot from him.
“He has got good draws and now it’s time for him to pull off the desired results,” Arshad said.
Pakistan has fielded three wrestlers in the global event in which top five in each weight category will qualify for the Paris Olympics.
By our correspondent