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Friday, October 22, 2021

Junior World Championships: Indian grapplers return with a rich haul of medals

Indian girls bring three silver medals while Ravinder was the lone Indian to reach the boys final.

Written by SS Manoj |
Updated: August 21, 2021 2:18:37 pm
Junior World Wrestling ChampionshipsIndian girls, including Bhateri (L) and Sanju Devi, won five medals including three silver medals in the Junior World Wrestling Championships in Russia. (Twitter/SAI)

In a first, Indian girls finished third in the Junior World Wrestling Championships in Ulfa, Russia.

USA 143 points, Russia 134 points, India 134 points, Belarus 96 points and Turkey 92 points were the top five finishers in points standing.

Indian girls won five medals including three silver medals.

Sanju Devi looked exhausted and settled for silver as she was thrashed by hosts Alina Kasabieva 0-10 in the gold medal match of women’s freestyle 62kg category. In the semifinals, Devi beat her opponent Soltanova of Azerbaijan by 8-5 in a bout which saw the Indian grappler clawing back in style to win the final spot.

“There were only the boys. It was a bit strange to train with the boys,” Devi, 20 told how her brother introduced her to wrestling.

“Even now I train with the girls only at the training camps, back home I still train with the boys,” Devi said and added when she reached the training hall for the first time, there were no girls wrestling.

Bhateri lost to Irina Ringaci of Moldova 2-12 in the final of women’s 65kg category and Bipasha in 76kg category too won a silver medal each. En route to the gold medal match, Bipasha defeated Dilnaz Mulkinova of Kazakhstan 6-3 and Odbag Ulzibat of Mongolia 9-4.

Simran (50kg) and Sito (55kg) won bronze medals. In the 72kg category, Saneh via injury default (knee injury) lost the bronze medal to Russia’s Mariam Guseinova.

Meanwhile, the boys won six – one silver and five bronze medals.

In the men’s freestyle, India finished sixth among 12 countries in medals tally and fifth among points table.

In the 61kg category, Ravinder was the lone Indian to make it to the final only to lose Iranian rival Rahman Amouzadkhalili 9-3. Ravinder beat Levik Mikayelyan of Armenia 12-2 in the semifinals.

Yash (74kg), Gourav Baliyan (79kg), Pruthviraj Patil (92kg), Deepak (97kg), Anirudh (125kg) utilized the full use of the repechage round and went on to win bronze medals.

Wrestling pundits were dismayed as none of the Indians could make an impact in the 57,65 and 86 weight categories for which Indians are strong and even qualified for the recent Tokyo Olympics.

Iran 178 points, Russia 142 points, USA 129 points, Azerbaijan 122 points and India 101 points were the top five finishers in point standings.

In the previous 2019 edition at Tallinn, Estonia, India won one gold and two bronze medals and were 11th among 25 nations.

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