New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Avtar Singh and Tulika Mann lost their opening round matches of the Tel Aviv Grand Slam judo in Tel Aviv on Saturday to end India’s poor outing in the competition.
Singh lost to Belarus’s Mikita Sviryd in the men’s 100kg group while Tulika lost to Ivana Maranic of Croatia in the women’s 78kg-plus category.
Earlier on Thursday, the opening day of the three-day competition, the Indian team made a good start, but found the going tough in the second round.
Vijay Yadav won his first round of the 60kg category against Israel’s Adam Jazan, but lost to Azerbaijan’s Davud Mammadsoy in the second. Mammadsoy eventually won gold in the 60kg.
In the 66kg category, Jasleen Singh Saini was off to a good start. He defeated Spain’s Roman Perez in the first round, but lost in the second round to Israel’s Shmailov Baruch and bowed out of the competition.
In the women’s 48kg, Sushila Devi lost her opening round match to Portuguese Siderot Maria.
“Both Saini and Yadav collected 120 points while the other three were awarded 10 points because of first round defeats,” said team coach Jiwan Sharma.
The Tel Aviv Grand Slam competition saw 418 competitors, including 244 in the men’s category, from across 60 countries who competed for valuable ranking points.
Punjab’s Saini, who is under the sports ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), is the highest ranked Indian. He is seen as having a bright chance of earning a continental quota for this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The International Judo Federation will announce the distribution of quota on June 30.
“The top 18 in each of the weight categories will directly qualify for the Olympics while any Indian who gets maximum points in the Asian continent would get continental quota place,” said Sharma.