Indian wrestlers won 5 medals at the World Championships; Deepak Punia became the best junior wrestler Sushil Kumar and Sakshi’s performance dropped
Indian Wrestling: The year 2019 was the best year for Indian Wrestling. Most of the best wrestlers performed as expected in 2019, but the brightest star among them was Deepak Punia. Veteran Bajrang Punia and ladies wrestler Vinesh Phogat also kept the world high on the world stage. In light of this achievement, the Tokyo Olympics are also expected to do well for the wrestlers. Veteran and Olympic giants Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik’s poor performance also came up for discussion in the midst of this amazing performance from new wrestlers. Achieving five medals and four Olympic quota places at the World Championships this year was an unprecedented achievement for Indian wrestlers.
Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya delighted the nation by winning bronze
Bajrang Poonia (65 kg) and Vinesh Phogat (53 kg) secured podium places in addition to securing the Tokyo 2020 quota, but were expected to win a better medal than bronze. Deepak (86kg) became Junior World Champion early in the year and he made headlines by securing Olympic quota with a silver medal at the World Championships. He would become the second Indian wrestler to do so after winning a gold medal, Sushil Kumar (2010), but was forced to withdraw from the final due to an ankle injury. However, the best news came at the end of the year when he was named the best junior wrestler of the year by the sports governing body, United World Wrestling. Deepak’s father from Haryana sells milk. Deepak first made the news through the 2016 Cadet World Championship Gold Medal. In 2018, he won only one medal at senior level, but this year, after two bronze and one silver, he finished second in Noor Sultan with his career best.
World Wrestling Rankings: Deepak Poonia reaches the top position, ‘loss’ to Bajrang
The journey from junior to senior circuit was good for this wrestler, but now he is the world’s leading wrestler, which would have raised a lot of expectations from him in the Olympic year. On the other hand, Bajrang Poonia participated in every tournament he participated in before the World Cup. He took gold medals in Dan Klov, Asian Championship, Ali Aliev and Yasar Dogu, but the opponent understood his ‘leg defense’ well until the World Cup. Daulat Niyazbekov from Kazakhstan stopped his fantastic form in Noor Sultan and it was quite surprising as he was a strong competitor to win the title as the worlds greatest wrestler. Bajrang complained after the defeat that the judges preferred the domestic wrestler, but there is no denying that he had lost the early lead. He is currently number two on the world rankings and has started working on strengthening his weak defense and for this he is working with the new Russian partner Viktor Rosadin in a training camp in Sonepat.
Vinesh Phogat received the award that Sachin Tendulkar could not even get
Ravi Dahiya, another wrestler from a poor family, impressed with his strong technique, powerful defense and most importantly his temperament, making him a strong contender for the Olympic medal. His bronze medal at the World Cup was surprising to many, but he showed his ability in the Pro League. With this, India can expect more than one medal from wrestlers at the Olympics in Tokyo. Rahul Aware also increased India’s bronze medal, even though it was in the 61kg category, which was not Olympic. Vinesh Phogat has raised his Olympic medal hopes by winning his first medal at the World Championships. In one of the biggest events of the Olympic classes, Vinesh not only defeated her rivals, but also boosted her confidence by defeating some.
The year has been an attempt to prove itself to Sushil Kumar (Sushil Kumar) and Rio 2016 bronze medalist Sakshi Malik, who won two Olympic medals amid a series of new wrestling wrestlers. Both participated in the World Cup after winning the national trials, but neither of them could last more than one round. In Sushil’s (36 years) wrestling, speculation about the future has also intensified, while the young Sakshi (27 years) has underperformed in most tournaments after winning bronze at the Olympics in Rio. He was also thrown out of the government’s TOPS system, which did not make his future look good. At the end of the year, however, he won the national title in 62 kg.
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