express news service
Chennai: Good sign. That’s what the Indian contingent felt after bagging three bronze medals at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Good omen, considering Greco-Roman wrestling was never a happy hunting ground in the world arena. However, across the continent, India is showing signs of improvement. With the hectic schedule approaching this year, the team management is really satisfied to start their campaign on a positive note.
Sunil Kumar (87kg), Neeraj (63kg) and Arjun Halakurki (55kg) finished on the podium, giving the Greco-Roman contingent their previous best tally (5 medals – 1 gold and 4 bronze) achieved in the 2020 edition. There is a great hope of crossing. in New Delhi. This is the second medal for both Sunil and Arjun in the continental event – the former won gold in the 2020 edition and the latter won bronze in the same year. The remaining five Greco-Roman wrestlers from the country will be in action on Wednesday.
Head coach Hargobind Singh considers this a positive sign, especially with big events.
“We can improve our 2020 tally as Harpreet Singh (82kg), Sachin Sehrawat (67kg) and Gyanendra (60kg) have a good chance of winning medals on Wednesday. This performance is a good sign as it can serve to boost the morale of the wrestlers for the 2022 Asian Games. Arjun and Neeraj compete in non-Olympic weight categories, but the coach confirmed that the pair will compete in the Olympic weight categories during the selection trials for the Asiad. “Arjun will advance in 60kg while Neeraj will compete in 67kg during the trials,” he added.
The 23-year-old from Karnataka is also eyeing a place in the Indian team for the Asian Games. “The first target is the Asiad in Hangzhou, China. The Paris Olympics of 2024 is the ultimate goal as not many wrestlers from Karnataka have represented the country in the quadrennial event,” said Arjun. He started wrestling after seeing his father Durgaappa competing during local riots. Such was the situation in Arjun’s family that his father was killed in a road accident while he was hunting a wild rabbit to feed his dependents.
When Neeraj started, he was a freestyle wrestler. He also won a bronze medal at the Asian Championships (Cadet) before switching styles.
Full story: newindianexpress.com