With the National Wresting Championship all set to begin on Friday (November 29), Rio 2016 Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik and 2018 Asian Games Gold Medalist Vinesh Phogat’s presence is expected to light up the tournament.
The competition will be held at Jalandhar in Punjab and will see more than 500 wrestlers from every nook and corner of the country participating in free-style and Greco-Roman categories.
There is a bonus for the wrestlers in this competition too, as all the Gold medalists will be given a chance to represent the country at the South Asian Games in Nepal starting on December 1st.
Many other Indian women’s wrestlers like Seema Bisla (50kg), Sarita More (57kg), Navjot Kaur (65kg) and Divya Kakran (68kg), and men’s wrestlers like Amit Kumar Dahiya (65kg), Gaurav Baliyan (74kg), Satyawart Kadian (97kg) and Sumit Malik (125kg), are expected to compete in the Championship alongside Phogat (55 kg) and Malik (62 kg).
Malik, who has been struggling with her consistency, ever since winning Bronze at the Rio Games in 2016, will look to make amends in this competition. Her only big achievement since then has been winning another Bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Phogat, on the other hand, had suffered a career-threatening knee-injury. However, she has made a strong comeback ever since the Rio games. She has won Gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, and has also won Bronze at the recently concluded World Wrestling Championships.
Apart from the aforementioned players, Amit Kumar Dahiya will also be making his first appearance in the mat in four years. The 24-year-old suffered a horrific knee-injury back in 2015 and he has been out of action ever since.
Dahiya was considered to be a rising star of Indian wrestling when he made his appearance in the London Games of 2012 as a teenager and then, went on to win a Gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“I am raring to go. I want to win once again and will start with the Senior National championships in Jalandhar and if everything goes well, I will be competing in the Asian Championships in February,” Dahiya said in an interview.
Written by: Prasenjit Dey