With the 2017 Wrestling World Championships underway in Paris, Indian hopes are pinned on the likes of Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia for India’s 12th medal at the competition. Of them, only Punia has won a medal at the event before, with a bronze in Budapest in 2013.
The last time India won a medal at the world championships was Narsingh Yadav’s bronze in 2015 at Los Angeles. The win had given him direct qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics, which then went down an unexpected route featuring court cases, demands of trials, and ultimately ended in a doping ban. Currently, the 28-year-old has served one year of his four-year ban.
But even as Narsingh fights his battle of redemption with a CBI inquiry, he has found another way of making his mark on this world championship. He is helping his wife, wrestler Shipi Sheoran, train for the big event, according to mid-day.
Shilpi will be competing in the 63kg category in Paris. Narsingh believes that she can win a world medal in which will help, in his own words, “heal those wounds to some extent,” continues the report.
“Shilpi is an experienced grappler. She finished fifth at the 2012 World Championships in Japan. She was a bit inexperienced then, but thereafter won gold at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati. Currently, she is the best Indian wrestler in her category and I’m confident she can win a medal at this World Championships. We have been working hard over the last few months for this,” Narsingh told mid-day.
Narsingh married the fellow wrestler in March this year and admitted that his marriage helped him overcome from the Rio setback. “I had gone into a huge depression at one point of time. Shilpi has helped me come back to normal life with her untiring inspiration and encouragement for the last few months. I would not have been able to resume training if Shilpi had not stood beside me all along my crisis,” he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Currently training at the Sports Authority of India in Mumbai, Narsingh has the full support of his coach Jagmal Singh, who is overseeing the training. “Technically, Narsingh is one of the best wrestlers in India, so despite being the chief coach here at SAI, I let him take the initiative of training Shilpi, while I supervise their workouts. Narsingh has fine-tuned Shilpi’s technique and she won first place at the World Championships’ selection trials in Lucknow recently,” he told mid-day.
Shilpi will be in action in the 63kg freestyle wrestling on Thursday. Narsingh has not travelled with her to France for the event.
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