Praveen Rana scribbled in his initials just below Peter Gades signature for his first autograph on a fans scrapbook at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium. Mobbed and hugged during countless photo sessions,the 19-year-olds achievement of winning his maiden gold medal at the Hari Ram Indian wrestling Grand Prix on Sunday,made him no less the superstar on Sunday than the Danish badminton star.
Praveen,however,needed last minute advice from his coach Virender before taming the Georgian Lobjanizde 3-0,2-0 to win his biggest prize in his young career. My opponent had been attacking on the left leg in his bouts today. My coach told me to how to use that in my counter attacks, Rana said after his final win.
In the first round,the Chhatrasal stadium trainee was almost on the ropes with the Georgian having a hard grip on Ranas legs. But not only did Rana wriggled out of it,he had the Georgian pinned on the mat to win the opening period. It was easier for the Indian in the next,where he won with a two-point difference to hand the hosts their second gold medal of the tournament.
After showcasing his credentials at the senior level,Rana will quietly go back to lead the Indian contingent for the Junior Asian Championships.
Bronze for Manoj
Also in the same category,Manoj Kumar,who was beaten by Rana in the first bout,won the bronze after winning both his repechage bouts. Pawan Kumar (84kg) beat Georgias Svanidze 1-5,4-3,2-1 in a tense bout. In womens,Gursharan Preet (72kg) beat Arzerbaijans Gurbanhajiyeva in her repechage bout to bag Indias third bronze of the day.