It’s all Greek and Roman hosts

Disappointing start to India's campaign as Greco-Roman wrestlers fail to win medals

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi | Published:April 19, 2013 3:19 am

Emzar Makharadze,the foreign expert with the Indian Greco-Roman team,was fuming by the time the repechage draw was being decided. Of the four Indians in the fray on the opening day of the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships,two — Ravinder Singh (60kg) and Naveen Suhag (120kg) — were beaten in their opening rounds.

What really irked the big Georgian was that a few of the fifty-fifty decisions had not gone the way of the Indians and that had played a part in those losses. But more than that,it was the realisation that India’s performance in the Greco-Roman discipline,which had begun to show an improvement post the Commonwealth Games,had fallen back once again and that hurt him more.

” We don’t have good replacements. If we have a good wrestler anywhere,the No.2 ranked is nowhere near as good,” he said. And within minutes those words sounded prophetic. Gaurav Sharma,who had replaced the injured Rajendra Kumar in the 55 kg category,was soundly beaten in the bronze-medal bout by North Korea’s Yun Won Chol in two one-sided rounds. In fact,the first move of the match resulted in six points in the Korean’s kitty. He first flipped over Sharma,using his upper body strength and then rolled him over on the mat twice. The next round was equally one-sided. Gaurav lost 6-0 and 7-0.

Up next was Sunil Rana in the 66kg weight division and he cut a sorry figure too. He was beaten in the bronze medal bout by Kazakhstan’s Yerbol Konyratov,who benefited from caution points in two of the three rounds. “A few of the wrestlers are nearing the exit, a few have gone already and we don’t have good guys coming up. What more can we do?” said a coach.

A solution that has been mooted,is to have young wrestlers take up Greco-Roman wrestling from the beginning,instead of having failed Freestyle wrestlers take up the discipline as a last recourse. In fact,both Ravindra and Sunil started this way.

Course correction

In a move towards that end,the WFI wrote to the School Games Federation to including the Greco-Roman discipline from the next cycle onwards. “The system has to change. We will have Greco-Roman in the school games and we will try to do the same at the university level. Till graduate level,the wrestlers fight in Freestyle and when they switch,their body movements and positioning still retains those familiarities,” WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said.

S.Korean anthem is ‘Chak de India’

Delhi: The medal ceremony on the opening day of the Asian Wrestling Championship saw a major faux pas by the organisers as they ended up playing a Bollywood movie song instead of the national anthem of the gold-medal winning country.

In the first medal ceremony,all the winners were standing on the podium,waiting for the national anthem of a Korean wrestler,who won the gold in the 55-kg category.

The Korean,who was standing on the podium,looked bemused as the music began even as others stood for the anthem. So absorbed in egging on the Indian fans,the organisers,in what was to be a major embarrassment,ended up playing the title song of the film ‘Chak de India’.

In the first 20 secs,not many present in the stadium were aware that a different song had been played barring,off course,the South Koreans.

The goof-up was more embarrassing as it took place in front of the president of the Asian wrestling body,Chang-Kew Kim,who is also from South Korea. The organisers realised their blunder only when the lyrics started.

The music was instantly cut short and the Korean wrestler was escorted off the podium without hisnational anthem. The organisers went into damage control as they immediately apologised for the gaffe,through an announcement. — PTI

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results
    Express Adda