SAG: India bags all five wrestling golds

The young Ravinder and Rajneesh showed total dominance over their Pakistani opponents in the final to get the men’s gold in the 57 and 65 kg categories, while Priyanka Singh, Archana and Manisha triumphed in the women’s 48 kg, 55 kg and 60 kg categories making India’s supremacy complete.

Ravinder (in red) of India in action against Pakistan's Mohammad Bilal in the final of the 57 kg freestyle wrestling championship at the R. G. Baruah Sports Complex during the 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati on Saturday. Ravinder won the gold medal.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

India made a clean sweep of the golds on the opening day of the wrestling competition in the 12{+t}{+h} South Asian Games here at the DTRP Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

The young Ravinder and Rajneesh showed total dominance over their Pakistani opponents in the final to get the men’s gold in the 57 and 65 kg categories, while Priyanka Singh, Archana and Manisha triumphed in the women’s 48 kg, 55 kg and 60 kg categories making India’s supremacy complete.

India fielded only the runners-up of the recent Nationals held in Delhi, yet reaped all the gold as the opposition failed to provide enough challenge. The best came from young Ravinder who beat Mohammad Bilal of Pakistan 5-0 to win the 57 kg final. The 18-year-old Indian, who surprised many to win the silver in the recent Nationals, gave the Pakistani wrestler no chance in the final, which went the full length. The Indian earned points in both the rounds despite his opponent coming hard at him. Ravinder, who had previously won the Asian cadet championship bronze, said the win strengthened his resolve to make the Olympic qualification, which happens in March in Kazakhstan.

A first round result

With the first team preparing for the Asian Championship in Bangkok beginning in the third week of this month, the second selection of the host impressed with their determined effort. Rajneesh proved too good for Mohammad Nadar of Pakistan in the men’s 65 kg final. Rajneesh got his opponent on the mat in the very first round when he was ahead 11-0 and the bout was stopped with the Indian declared winner on technical superiority.

The women’s performance was also impressive with Priyanka, Archana and Manisha becoming runaway winners in a restricted field and against weak opponents. The women’s competition was held in a round robin format as only four countries fielded their wrestlers. The Indians won all their league rounds convincingly to ensure all the three golds.

The results:

Men: 57 kg: Final: Ravinder (Ind) bt Mohammad Bilal (Pak) 5-0, Bronze: S. D. Asanga (Sri) bt Jaimangal Yadav (Nep) 10-0. 65 kg: Final: Rajneesh (Ind) bt Nadar (Pak) 11-0; Bronze: WMC Pareira (Sri) bt Zamir (Afg) 18-6.

Women: 48 kg: 1. Priyanka Singh (Ind) 12 pts; 2. S. P. S. Niroshini (Sri) 8, 3. Nadi Chakma (Ban) 4; 55 kg: 1. Archana (Ind) 12, 2. MWMP Kumari (Sri) 8, 3. Suma Chowdhury (Ban) 4; 60 kg: 1. Manisha (Ind) 12, 2. Rina Akhtar (Ban) 8, 3. Priyanga Kumari (Sri) 3.

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