Sehrawat, a product of Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium and coached by Lalit Kumar, secured a gold medal at the Zagreb Open Ranking Series tournament – the first international competitive outing for Indian wrestlers in 2024.
In Zagreb, Indians have been participating as ‘neutral’ athletes owing to the suspension of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) by United World Wrestling (UWW) for not adhering to the timeline set for elections.
The newly-elected body of the WFI, headed by president Sanjay Singh, is under suspension for ‘violating the national Sports Code and its own constitution.’
In the ranking series event, the World U-23 Championships gold winner outclassed China’s Wanhao Zou 10-0 in the final bout.
Sehrawat was his dominant self and employed his leg attacks and takedowns to perfection to beat Zou by technical superiority.
However, the Indian had to overcome some early jitters during his campaign when the 20-yearold was troubled by higher-ranked Muhammet Karavus of Turkey in the opening round.
Sehrawat trailed after a four-point takedown by Karavus within seconds of the start of the bout but rallied to accumulate 10 straight points to move into the next round with a 15-4 verdict.
The Indian – a bronze medallist at the Hangzhou Asian Games – then displayed aggression and immaculate defence to beat American grappler Richards Zane Raye Rhodes 11-0 in the quarters and later Roberti Dingashvili of Georgia by technical superiority in the last-four stage to move into the title bout.
CWG and Asian Games medallist Deepak Punia could not make it to the men’s freestyle 86kg medal round after losing his first bout to Kazakhstan’s Azamat Dauletbekov.