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Indian wrestlers finish Asian Wrestling Championships with 20 medals, surpass last edition’s record of 19 medals

With a rich haul of 20 medals at the Asian Wrestling Championship 2020, Indian wrestlers broke the previous record of 16 medals that was won at the last edition of the tournament in Xi’an in China.

India occupied the top spot of the team rankings in Men’s Freestyle at 95 points, followed by Iran at 83 points and Kyrgyzstan was placed at 3rd place with 65 points.

The Indian women’s team ended up at the second spot in the team rankings with 180 points, 29 points behind Japan. The team performed much better than the last edition of Asian Championships.

GOLD FOR SUNIL KUMAR IN GRECO ROMAN AFTER 27 YEARS

Sunil Kumar

On the first day of Asian Wrestling Championships at New Delhi, Sunil Kumar made India proud by winning a gold medal in Greco-Roman Wrestling after 27 years. The top honour was last won by Pappu Yadav in 48kg in 1993.

Sunil overpowered Azat Salidinov of Kyrgyzstan 5-0 in the 87 kg summit bout. In the 2019 Asian Championships at Xi’an he had to settle for silver. In the way to the final, he demolished Japan’s Takahiro Tsuruda in the quarter-final and Kazakhstan’s Azamat Kustubayev in the semi-final.  

GOLD FOR DIVYA KAKRAN IN 68KG

Divya Kakran became only the second Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships. Navjot Kaur was the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Championships in 2018 in Kyrgyzstan in 65kg.

In the final, Divya won against Naruha Matsuyuki of Japan. Before that she won all her 4 bouts against the wrestlers from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Japan. The competition was fought in the round-robin format.

Divya Kakran, Pinki and Sarita Mor

GOLD FOR PINKI IN FREESTYLE 55KG

In her first senior Asian Championships, Pinki won gold in 55kg category of Freestyle Wrestling. She defeated Mongolian wrestler Dulguun Bolormaa by 2-1. She won her semi-final against Marina Zuyeva 6-0. After her win Pinki said, “I was a bit careful because I had injured my elbow. I did not want to aggravate since important events are lined up.”

GOLD FOR SARITA MOR IN FREESTYLE 59KG

Sarita Mor defeated Battsetseg Altantsetseg of Mongolia, the silver medallist of 2019 championship, by a close margin of 3-2 to clinch the gold.

Sarita was competing in her first Asian event since 2017 when she won silver in 58kg category.On her way to the final, she won her first two bouts by technical superiority against Madina Bakbergenova of Kazakhstan and Nazira MarsbekKyzy of Kyrgyzstan before winning 10-3 against Japan’s Yuumi Kon.

GOLD FOR RAVI DAHIYA IN 57KG

Ravi Dahiya lived up to the expectation by winning gold against Hikmatullo Vohidov from Tajikistan in the 57kg category. Ravi had a comprehensive victory as he cruised past his opponent by 10-0.

SILVER FOR NIRMALA DEVI IN FREESTYLE 48KG

2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and 11-time senior national Champion, Nirmala Devi settled for silver medal in the 48kg category of Freestyle. In the final, she was defeated by Miho Igarashi of Japan in a closely fought battle by 3-2. Nirmala Devi is also a three-time Commonwealth Wrestling Champion.

SILVER FOR SAKSHI MALIK IN FREESTYLE 65KG

India’s Olympic bronze medallist, Sakshi Malik, settled for silver as she lost her gold-medal bout against Naomi Ruike of Japan by 0-2. Sakshi also lost her opening bout to Naomi Ruike by 1-2 margin. Ruike won silver medal in 2019.

SILVER FOR SATYWART KADIAN IN 97KG

Satywart Kadian settled for silver against two-time Under 23 World champion Mojtaba Mohammadshafie Goleij of Iran in the 97kg category. Kadian defeated Rustam Iskandari of Tajikistan in mere 45 seconds to make it to the final but lost 0-10 against Goleij. Hough he lost the final, Kadian bettered his medal colour from last year when he won bronze.

SILVER FOR GOURAV BALIYAN IN 79KG

Promising young wrestler, Gourav Baliyan lost to Arsalan Budazhapov of Kyrgyzstan in the final and settled for a silver medal in the 79 kg freestyle category at the Asian Wrestling Championship. It was a hard-fought tie where both the wrestlers had their winning chances but Arsalan emerged victorious against Baliyan by 7-5.

SILVER FOR BAJRANG PUNIA IN 65KG

India’s Wrestling star Bajrang Punia grabbed silver as he was defeated Japanese grappler Takuto Otoguro in the final. Bajrang’s defeat was heartbreaking for the home crowd as he was expected to win the gold. Earlier in the 2018 World Championship finals, Takuto Otoguro had defeated the Indian grappler as well.

SILVER FOR JITENDER KUMAR IN 74KG

Jitender Kumar was up against Daniyar Kaisanov of Kazakhstan, the defending Asian Champion, in the final of 74kg Freestyle category. But he lost the gold medal bout with a scoreline of 1-3. With this win, Jitender passed the Asian Wrestling Championships test with flying colours. His qualification dashed Sushil Kumar’s last hope of earning a Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth. If Jitender failed to win a medal, the WFI could have given Sushil an opportunity to earn the India berth.

BRONZE FOR ARJUN HALAKURKI IN GRECO ROMAN 55KG

Arjun Halakurki settled for bronze and won the first medal for India in the tournament. Arjun defeated Dongheyok Won of South Korea 7-4 in the 55kg Greco Roman competition. At one stage of the match, Arjun was trailing 1-4. But he revived stupendously to win the bronze.

BRONZE FOR ASHU IN BRECO ROMAN 67KG

India’s two-time junior national gold medallist Ashu beat Syria’s Abdwlkarim Mohammad Alhasan in 67kg category of Greco Roman. He had a commanding performance over his opponent to win by 6-1. It was Ashu’s first medal in the senior Asian Wrestling Championship.

BRONZE FOR ADITYA KUNDU IN GRECO ROMAN 72KG

2017 Commonwealth Championship gold medallist Aditya Kundu won bronze in the 72kg of Greco Roman by defeating Nao Kusaka of Japan. Aditya was impressive in his first Asian Championship who, in his bronze medal match, defeated the 2019 Japanese champion by 8-0.

BRONZE FOR HARDEEP IN GRECO ROMAN 97KG

Hardeep beat Kyrgyzstan’s Beksultan Makhamadzhanovich Makhmudov 3-1 to win another bronze medal for India. The seven times national champion from India cruisededged past Makhmudov of Kyrgyzstan by 3-1. After his win, Hardeep said to PTI, “I was worried at one point when I was supposed to be on the ground as it is a weakness that I have been working upon. In the end, I was able to maintain my cool and hold the opponent off with a strong defensive strategy.”

BRONZE FOR VINESH PHOGHAT IN FREESTYLE 53KG

Asian Games gold medallist, Vinesh Phoghat settled for bronze in 53kg category of Freestyle Wrestling by defeating Thi Ly Kieu of Japan by a massive win of 10-0.

Vinesh Phoghat would have liked to finish off with gold but in the quarter final she was defeated by two-time world champion Mayu Mukaida. It was her third consecutive loss to Mukaida with her previous loss ending her chance to win silver at the Wrestling World Championships 2019.

BRONZE FOR ANSHU IN FREESTYLE 57KG

Anshu of India managed to win bronze in the 57kg category by defeating Uzbekistan’s Eshmuratova with a scoreline of 4-1. Anshu won silver medal at Rome Ranking series in January 2020. In this Asian Championships, she defeated Nuraida Anarkulova of Kyrgyzstan in quarterfinals before bowing down to Olympic champion Risako Kawai in the semis.  

BRONZE FOR GURSHARAN PREET KAUR IN FREESTYLE 72KG

Gursharan Preet Kaur fairly beat her Mongolian opponent Tsevegmed Enkhbayar with a scoreline of 5-2. It was an important medal for Gursharan as, through this tournament, she made her international comeback after seven years.

BRONZE FOR RAHUL AWARE IN 61KG

World no 3 Rahul Aware won his bronze-medal match against Iranian Majid Almas Dastan by 5-2. Rahul had started his campaign with an impressive first-round win against Pakistan’s hope Muhammad Bilal.

BRONZE FOR DEEPAK PUNIA IN 86KG

Deepak Punia defeated Iraq’s Issa Abdulsalam Abdulwahhab Al Obaidi in 3 minutes by a margin of 10-0 to settle for bronze. Deepak started off well in the quarter-finals to outplay Mongolian Gankhuyag by 8-2 failed to win against Japan’s Shutaro Yamada in the semi-final.

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