Indian wrestlers Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia made strong starts to their respective campaigns at the Tokyo Olympics, cruising into semifinals with relative ease.
After beating Colombia’s Tigreros on technical superiority, Dahiya repeated another dominant performance to ease past Bulgaria’s Georgi Vangelov 14-4 to book a place in the semifinals of freestyle 57kg category.
Punia, meanwhile, made easy work of Nigeria’s Ekerekeme Agiomor in the round-of-16 before beating China’s Zushen Lin in the quarters of freestyle 85kg category.
The Indian turned the game in the final five seconds, sealing the decisive points against Lin after the Chinese wrestler levelled 3-3 with a strong comeback in the second period.
The 19-year-old Anshu Malik though lost the women’s 57kg opener to European champion Irina Kurachkina of Belarus 2-8, but remains in fray for repechage as Kurachkina has entered the semifinals.
Dahiya will now meet Kazhkakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev, who is a silver and bronze medalist at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships respectively.
Punia, meanwhile, will take on USA’s famed David Taylor, who is a World Championships gold medalist.