India finished its campaign in the World wrestling championships in Istanbul, Turkey, on a disappointing note with none of its wrestlers being able to earn either a medal or an Olympic qualification berth. The biggest shock for the country was the failure of Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who was also defending his World title in 66kg on Sunday.
Sushil, who made a return after a long injury layoff following his Commonwealth Games success, easily got past Joseph Lopez of Guam in the first round. However, he was a bit unlucky to taste defeat against Ukrainian Andriy Stadnik in a keenly fought second round bout.
The Indian won the first period (2-0) and lost the second (0-4). In the decider, Sushil was leading 1-0 when Stadnik scored the equaliser and walked away as the winner.
Later the Ukrainian's loss in the quarterfinals denied Sushil the chance to make the repechage round, where the Indian would have fought for a bronze medal as well as an Olympics berth.
Other prominent freestyle wrestlers like Narsingh Yadav (74kg), Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg), Mausam Khatri (96kg) and Rajeev Tomar (120kg) also failed to make an impression. The best of the lot was Khatri who reached the pre-quarterfinals.
Two women wrestlers did reasonably well. Neha Rathi finished fifth in 51kg but, unfortunately, her weight category was not part of the Olympics. Geeta, in 55kg, narrowly missed the mark for London after ending up at the eighth place.
All the Greco Roman grapplers fared poorly. The top six in each weight category (42 each in freestyle, Greco Roman and 24 in women) in the World championships qualified for the London Games.
The Indian wrestlers will get another chance to make the Olympics in the qualifying event in Uzbekistan in March next year.