Junior World Champion Deepak Punia defeated Colombian grappler Carlos Mendez in the quarterfinals of the ongoing World Wrestling Championships and became the fourth Indian wrestler to secure a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, following Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya.
Talking about Deepak, he stormed into the last four of the 86-kg freestyle category after beating Mendez 7-6 to book a ticket for the semifinals.
In the pre-quarterfinals, he had outplayed Kodirov Bakhodur of Tajikistan with a massive 6-0 lead.
Earlier, in his first-round contest, he had staged a remarkable comeback to recover from a 0-5 deficit to win 8-6 against Kazhakstan’s Adilet Davlumbayev.
The 25-year-old’s next challenge will be Stefan Reichmuth of Switzerland in semifinal for a place in the final.
Earlier in the championships, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya all won bronze medals in their respective categories and secured berths for the Tokyo Olympics.
In Nur-Sultan on Friday, 25-year-old Bajrang inched Tulga Tumur Ochir of Mongolia 8-7 to win the bronze medal.
Along with Punia, Ravi Kumar Dahiya also bagged the third-highest honour in the 57-kg category after beating Iran’s reigning Asian champion Reza Atri 6-3 to win his maiden Worlds medal.
On Wednesday, Vinesh Phogat had defeated two-time world bronze medalist Maria Prevolaraki of Greece to clinch the first Tokyo Olympics quota for India.