A 30-member team will represent India at the World Junior Wrestling Championship in Slovakia from September 17-23, the Wrestling Federation of India announced Friday.
After the confident show at the Asian Championships, where India bagged eight medals including two golds, Junior Asian and Cadet championships, wrestlers will look to continue the winning-streak in the World Junior Championship as well.
The Indian grapplers had managed win a bronze in each category – men’s freestyle, greco-roman and women’s freestyle – in the last edition in Tampere, after the team had gone without medals for three years.
The last time India won a gold at the world juniors was 17 years ago, way back in 2001 in Tashkent when Ramesh Kumar and Palwinder Singh Cheema emerged winners.
Since then the precious yellow metal has eluded the Indians and the present contingent, led by youngsters like Deepak Punia, Sachin Rathi, Suraj and Sandeep Singh Maan, would want to set the records straight.
“I have a lot of faith in the young talents that will be on view in Slovakia. The coaches and players have worked hard, I am very optimistic about their performance. Our aim will be to flourish and perform well in all age groups,” WFI president, Brij Bushan Sharan Singh, said.
The women’s contingent will be spearheaded by 2018 Asian Cadet Gold Medallist and a 2017 Cadet World Championship Anshu among others.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Indian squad and we will give our best shot. We have trained well and worked hard on our technique; we are confident of a good show,” said Anshu, who will be representing India in the 59 kg category.
Confident of the team’s strong show, the reigning Asian Junior gold medallist, Deepak Punia said, “We had done well at the Asian Juniors and we will be carrying forward that momentum as we take the mat at the Junior World Championship.”
Complete squad for the junior worlds:
Freestlye - Women's
|1||Shivani Pawar||50 kg.|
|2||Swati Shinde||53 kg.|
|8||Sonika Hooda||68 kg.|
Freestyle - Men's
|4||Vishal Kaliraman||70 kg.|
|5||Sachin Rathi||74 kg.|
|6||Sandeep Singh Maan||79 kg.|
|7||Deepak Punia||86 kg.|
|9||Amit Saroha||97 kg.|
Greco-Roman - Men's
|5||Kuldeep Malik||72 kg.|
|9||Viresh Kundu||97 kg.|
|10||Deepak Poonia||130 kg.|