13 September , Las Vegas
Narsingh Pancham Yadav Sunday secured an Olympic quota place for India after bagging a bronze medal in the Men’s 74kg Freestyle category at the World Wrestling Championship in Las Vegas.
With his third-place finish, Narsingh became the lone Indian to win a medal at the prestigious tournament as well as book a berth for the 2016 Rio Games. This is the first time that an Indian wrestler has earned an Olympic berth with a medal at the World Championship.
Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar’s absence from the mat for over an year now has made Narsingh a regular in the 74kg division. Narsingh came up with some dominating performances, defeating Hanoc Rachamin of Israel 14-2 before getting the better of Soner Demirtas of Turkey 4-3 and Cuba’s Livan Lopez Azcuy 16-5 to advance to the semifinal. But in his semifinal bout, Narsingh went down to Unurbat Purevjav of Mongolia.
However, in his bronze medal play-off, he got his act together to outplay Zelimkhan Khadjiev of France 12-8 to make it to the podium.