SAG: Indian wrestlers end campaign with 14 gold medals

Indian wrestlers ended their campaign with a whopping haul of 14 medals. They won gold in all the eight women’s categories, while in the men's section, they claimed six gold and two silver medals.

Members of the Indian wrestling team with their medals.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

India completed its dominance in wrestling, winning five of the six titles on the concluding day of the event at the DTRP Indoor Stadium here on Monday. Pakistan won the men’s heavyweight (125 kg) gold to prevent a clean sweep by the host, which finished with a whopping aggregate of 14 gold medals out of the total 16 in the three-day competition.

Shilpi Sheoran, Rajani and Nikki won the women’s 63 kg, 69 kg and 75 kg events respectively to complete a sweep in the women’s section, winning all eight gold medals at stake. The Indian woman wrestlers encountered little challenge from their counterparts, most of whom appeared like novices. The divide was quite apparent as the three Indian women dominated the round-robin in their respective weight categories with all-win records.

Pakistan provided some resistance in the men’s category, winning two out of the total nine golds decided in the last three days. Zaman Anwar won the 125 kg gold, outclassing Mandeep of India 11-5 on technical points to top the round-robin, which had five countries participating. Anwar extended his control right from the start and showed his best in the second round where he picked up eight points compared to the three by Mandeep.

The Indian men had an overwhelming presence in the 97 kg and 74 kg categories. In the 97 kg final, Mausam Khatri drubbed Rajab Naseri of Afghanistan 12-2. The Afghan wrestler could do little against the superior technique and power of Khatri. In the 74 kg final, Pradeep faced some resistance from Mohammad Azad Butt of Pakistan, as the bout went the full distance. Pradeep, however, prevailed 6-3 in the end.

The wins would boost the morale of the Indian wrestlers, as they prepare for the Olympic qualifiers in March.

The results:

Men – 125 kg: 1. Zaman Anwar (Pak) 10 classification points, 2. Mandeep (Ind) 9, R. Rasool (Afg) 8; 97 kg: Mausam Khatri (Ind) 10, 2. Rajab Naseri (Afg) 9, 3. Bilal Hosen (Ban) & Mohammad Ummair (Pak) 8; 74 kg: 1. Pradeep (Ind) 10, 2. Mohammad Azad Butt (Pak) 9, 3. B.P. Rathnayaka (Sri) & Abdul Ghafar (Afg) 8.

Women – 75 kg: 1. Nikki (Ind) 10, 2. Ravihari Weerasingha (Sri) 9, 3. Min Khatun (Ban) 8; 69 kg: 1. Rajani (Ind) 10, 2. Shirin Sultana (Ban) 9, 3. Senevera Thana (Sri) 8; 63 kg: 1. Shilpi Sheoran (Ind) 10, 2. Farzana Sharmin (Ban) 9, Ram Rupa Singha (Sri) 8.