India ended their campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championship with two more medals in greco-roman event. Harpreet Singh settled for a silver medal in 82kg class category while Gyanender won a bronze in 60kg. The medals on Sunday took India’s tally to 16 medals – eight (one gold, three silver and four bronze) by men’s freestyle wrestlers, four bronze by women and three silver and a bronze by Greco-Roman wrestlers.
With the showing, India’s Greco-Roman wrestlers have improved on their tally of two bronze medals at the last edition and is the country’s best ever performance in this discipline at the Asian Championships.
After a strong show on his way to the final, Harpreet had to settle for the second-best position to get his first silver medal after three consecutive bronze medals in the tournament.
In the final, Iran’s Saeid Morad Abdvali, a former world champion and Olympic medallist, did not allow the Indian to settle as he went on to register a comfortable 8-0 win by Technical Superiority.
“I gave my all but it wasn’t my day, especially an opponent who is a former world champion and Olympic medallist, was too strong. I am still happy to have bettered the colour of my medal from last year and hopefully will be able to bring more laurels for India in future,” said Harpreet after the final.
Prior to the final, Harpreet had impressive performances: thrashing Haitao Qian of China 10-1 in the semifinals after handing a 5-1 defeat to Burgo Beishaliev of Kyrgyzstan in his last-eight stage bout.
Gyanender stamped his authority over Jui Chi Huang of Taipei and bagged the bronze medal with a 9-0 victory in the play-off bout.
For Gyanender, a quarterfinal round win over Ali Abed Alnaser Ali Abuseif of Jordan 9-1 was followed by a 0-9 defeat against Islomjon Bakhramov of Uzbekistan in the semifinal. This resigned him to fight for the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, Yogesh lost out on a podium finish in 72kg category after being beaten by Ruslan Tsarev of Kyrgyzstan in the third-fourth place match. With Hujun Zhang of China, who beat him 9-0, making the gold medal clash, Yogesh got the opportunity to fight for the bronze medal but couldn’t make it count.
Other Indians in the fray on Sunday — Ravinder and Hardeep — crashed out early. Ravinder bowed out in 67kg after losing his qualification bout, Hardeep suffered defeat in 97kg quarterfinal bout.
(With PTI inputs)