Indian wrestlers increased their overall medal tally by adding two silver and three bronze medals on the second day of the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 in Xi’an, China. With 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze, the Indian freestyle wrestlers finished their campaign in second position behind Iran.
2013 Asian champion in 66kg, Amit Dhankar (74kg) succumbed to a 0-5 defeat to Kaisanov Daniyar of Kazakhstan in the final to settle for the silver. In the semi-finals, Dhankar took care of Ilgiz Dzhakypbekov of Kyrgyzstan 5-0 but did not have to exert much effort in the quarter-finals as his opponent,Japan’s Yuhi Fujinami was injured.
“It is a little disappointing to not have got the gold for India once again. This loss will motivate me to strive further and give my very best for the upcoming tournaments and try to secure the Olympic berth at the World Championships later this year,” said Dhankar after his bout.
In 92kg, Viky too suffered the same fate as he lost 0-11 to Karimimachiani of Iran in the final. Viky had earlier edged China’s Xiao Sun 3-2 in the last-four stage.
“I wish I could have changed the score but my opponent was unfortunately too good. I hope to put in hard yards at training and make India proud in the next few tournaments coming up,” said Viky on his silver medal.
India, however, had better fortunes in the bronze medal bouts as they won all three of them. Commonwealth Games champion in 57kg, Rahul Aware (61kg) prevailed over Kim Jin-Cheol of Korea 9-2 to take home the bronze.
The 27-year-old had lost his quarter-final to Behnam Eshagh Ehsanpoor of Iran by dint of Victory by Fall. With the Iranian reaching the summit clash, Aware faced off against Thailand’s Siripong Jumpakam in repechage whom he dominated 12-1.
Deepak Punia (86kg) emerged an 8-2 winner over Kodirov Bakhodur of Tajikistan 8-2 while Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sumit Malik (125kg) outgrappled Anakulov Farkhod of Tajikistan 8-2 in their respective bronze medal play-offs.
Haryana’s Deepak, a silver medallist at the Junior World Championships last year, was soundly beaten by the eventual champion, Iran’s Kamran Ghorban Ghasempour via Victory by Technical Superiority (10-0) in the semi-finals.
On Day 3, the women will begin their challenge. Seema (50kg), Lalita Sehrawat (55kg), Manju (59kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) and Pooja (76kg) will be in action.
The six-day gala Asian Wrestling Championships will continue till April 28. India has sent a 30-member squad and will look to improve on their 8-medal tally from last year.