Tahlka news Bureau, Rio de Janiero: Indian wrestler Sandeep Tomar qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero by securing a bronze in the freestyle 57 kg category at the World Qualifying Tournament in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia on Sunday.
Sandeep Tomar defeated his opponent Alexandru Chirtoaca 10-0 in the face-off and secured the bronze medal.
25-year-old Tomar hails from Sonepat in Haryana and has previously won gold medals at the 2016 Asian Wrestling Championships and the 2013 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship.
Tomar has become the fourth Indian freestyle wrestler to qualify for the Olympics after Yogeshwar Dutt in the 65 kg category and Narsingh Pancham Yadav in the 74 kg category and Hardeep Singh in Greco-Roman 98kg category.
Securing a bronze medal was not enough to ensure a ticket to Rio and Tomar had to fight with the other bronze medallist in his category for a lone third-place finish as only the top three finishers in each weight category are eligible for an Olympic berth in this tournament.
In his bronze-medal qualification round Sandeep managed to defeat Ukrainian wrestler Andriy Yatsenko with a dominating 11-0 show.
Sandeep defeated Sezar Akgul of Turkey 11-0 and Kyrgyzstan's Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov 4-1 to enter the semi-final round. However, he could not cross the semi-final hurdle, going down to Mirjalal Hasan-Zada of Azerbaijan 8-8 in a closely-fought battle.
Meanwhile, Sandeep came back strongly from his disappointing semi-final loss to thrash Alexandru Chirtoaca of Moldova 10-0 in his bronze medal bout to ensure that he got an opportunity to fight for a place in the Olympics.