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Indian grapplers’ impressive show

                                bajrang2The Indian wrestlers finished with 10 medals, including a gold, five silver and four bronze in the Asian Wrestling Championships held in New Delhi from May 10 to 14 at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium. It bettered the India’s tally of nine medals in the last edition of the Asian Championship at Bangkok, Thailand. Indian tally of medals read as 1 gold, 5 silvers and 4 bronzes in the championship.

                                The wrestlers from twelve Asian countries took part in the championship. As predicted Iran and Japan domnated the points tally by winning the most number of medals. In men’s freestyle category, Iran defended their title while Japan and Uzbekistan finished second and third respectively. In Greco Roman Style too Iran topped the table followed by South Korea and Kazakhstan. Indian wrestlers ended up 8th and 7th respectively in both the styles. In women’s section Japan walked away with the credit of securing top place while Indian women earned second place with third place going to China. India stood fifth in overall standing.

                                Bajrang Poonia clinched the lone gold medal for India. He defeated Lee Seungchul of South Korea by a score of 6-2 in the 65kg Freestyle final. He started his campaign defeating Sirojiddin Hasanov of Uzbekistan 4-3 in the qualification and then beat Mehim Nasiri of Iran  7-5 in the quarter final. By doing so he avenged the defeat he suffered at the hand of Nassiri in the World Cup competition. In semi final he beat Kukgwang Kim of North Korea 3-2. harpreet-singh

                               Downed 0-2 at the break in the final against South Korean Seungchul Lee  but Bajrang came back strongly to emerge winner by 6-2.

                               Harpreet Singh clinched a bronze in the 80kg Greco Roman Style on the opening day. It was his second successive bronze in the Asian Championship. He defeated Junjie Na of China 3-2 for the bronze medal.

                               Sumit rounded-up the India’s tally with a silver medal on the final day. He went down to Yadollah Mohammadkazem Mohebi of Iran 2-6 in the men’s 125kg Freestyle gold medal bout. In his first bout of the day, Sumit beat Taiki Yamamoto of Japan 6-3 in the quarters and then outplayed Farkhod Anakulov of Tajikistan 7-2 in the semi final to reach the gold medal round with much ease.

                             However, all the other Indian freestyle wrestlers in the fray on the final day – Harphool (61kg), Vinod Kumar Omprakash (70kg) and Somveer (86kg) bowed out early. Harphool went down fighting 6-7 to Rei Higuchi of Japan in the quarterfinal round while Vinod Kumar Omprakash lost to Japan’s Momojiro Nakamura also in the quarterfinals. Somveer bowed out of the competition after he was handed a 0-11 defeat by Gwanuk Kim of Korea in his qualification bout.

                             sakshi-vineshIn the women’s section Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik settled for silver in the 60kg category. She failed to match the agility and speed of her Olympic champion Japanese rival Risako Kawai and went down tamely by 0-10 in the gold medal match. Earlier she raced to the finals defeating Nabira Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan in quarter final and Ayaulym Kassimova of Kazakhstan in semi final respectively.

                              Three other Indian women made it to the gold medal round but all had to content with the silver medals. They were Vinesh Phogat (55kg), Sarita (58kg) and Divya Khakran (69kg). Vinesh Phogat lost her gold medal match against Sae Nanjo of Japan by 4-8 while Sarita went down to Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan. Divya too couldn’t do any better against Sara Dosho of Japan in the final.

 The complete result : Asian Wrestling Championship 2017 New Delhi


… by Arun Arnaw Khare


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