It has been 28 years since India won a gold medal in Asian Games Wrestling. Kartar Singh had bagged gold in this event in the 1986 Seoul Asian Games. The Indian grapplers will look to break the jinx and add more gold medals to the Indian tally as the wrestling matches get underway on Saturday.
Two time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar has withdrawn from the Asian Games in view of the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is the second consecutive time that the Olympian is pulling out from the Asiad. However the Indian wrestlers form a strong team with commonwealth champion, Yogeshwar Dutt leading the charge.
ALL EYES ON YOGESHWAR:
Sushil Kumar’s childhood mate and 2012 Olympic games Bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt will definitely be the player to watch out for. He has been in good form as he won Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has selected it’s strongest possible squad for the games. The Indian team comprises of 18 wrestlers- 7 Freestyle, 7 Greco-Roman and 4 women. India’s strength lies in the Greco-Roman category and one can expect medals for India in this category. Here are the key players:
*Ravinder Singh- 5 time commonwealth champion and Asian Games bronze medallist.
*Krishan Kumar Yadav- Asian Champion
*Sandeep Yadav- World championship bronze medallist
*Manoj Kumar- Asian Championship bronze medallist
*Dharmender Dalal- Arjuna Awardee
*Narsingh Yadav- World no.5
*Bajrang Punia- CWG Silver medallist
*Pavan Kumar- CWG Bronze medallist
*Satyavrat Kadiyan- CWG Silver medallist
Four women wrestlers have also been named in the contingent:
Vinesh Phogat-48 kg
Babita Kumari-55 kg
Geetika Jakhar-63 kg
The WFI had sent a second string squad for the world championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan so it is expected that our primary squad is completely geared up for the Asiad.