National champion Sandeep Singh Mann defeated two accomplished wrestlers, World championships medallist Narsingh Yadav and Asian medallist Amit Dhankar, on his way to winning the men’s freestyle 74kg selection trials on Tuesday.
In the trials held at the K.D. Jadhav Stadium inside the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi, Mann got the better of Narsingh 4-3 in the semifinals and beat Dhankar 2-1 in the final to ensure a ticket to the Asian Olympic qualifier and the Asian championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in mid-April.
Asian championships silver medallist Jitender Kumar, another strong contender, lost to Dhankar 3-3 on criteria in the semifinals.
Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who holds the post of the president of the School Games Federation of India (SGFI), withdrew as he was busy with internal issues of the SGFI and could not prepare for the trials.
Trials were held for three freestyle and six Greco-Roman weights.
The winners: Freestyle: 74kg: Sandeep Singh Mann; 97kg: Satyawart Kadian; 125kg: Sumit.
Greco-Roman: 60kg: Gyanender; 67kg: Ashu; 77kg: Gurpreet Singh; 87kg: Sunil Kumar; 97kg: Ravi; 130kg: Naveen.