Wrestlers from Railways dominated proceedings at the National Wrestling Championships here on Friday. Sumit and Satyawart Kadiyan won a gold medal each to clinch their berths in the upcoming South Asian Games.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sumit beat Maharashtra’s Abhijit 5-0 for the men’s 125kg gold on the opening day of competitions. Abhijit had no answer to the tactical superiority of Sumit; he settled for silver. Kadiyan extended Railways’ dominance when he defeated Kapil Chaudhary of Uttar Pradesh 9-0 in the one-sided final bout in the 97kg category.
The most sought-after fight of the day, though, was in the 74kg category as seasoned wrestler Parveen Rana of the Railways took on talented young wrestler Gourav Baliyan of Uttar Pradesh. The duo had a close fight before the experienced Rana went down in the final 3-5 to settle for a silver medal.
Continuing his fine form, U-23 World Championship silver medallist Ravinder displayed sheer grit, bagging the first gold medal for Services with a dominating 12-2 win over Sonaba Tanaji of SSCB in the final of the 61kg category.
With this win, Ravinder has also ensured a place in the South Asian Games. In the semifinal bout of the 70kg category, Naveen of Jharkhand, despite bleeding profusely due to a nose injury, continued his bout for a win over Naveen of Services. The Jharkhand wrestler made a remarkable recovery in no time for the final showdown as he went on to win the gold after defeating Haryana’s Vishal.
The second day of the competition will see top women wrestlers in action. India’s best bet for a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — Vinesh Phogat (55 kg), Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik (62 kg), Divya Kakran (68 kg), Seema Bisla (50 kg), Sarita More (57 kg) and Navjot Kaur (65 kg) — will compete in their respective weight categories.
The gold-medal winning wrestlers in the seven categories at the ongoing Nationals — men’s freestyle 57kg, 61kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg and 125kg; women’s 50kg, 53kg, 57kg, 59kg, 62kg, 68kg, 76kg — will confirm themselves a berth in the upcoming South Asian Games where wrestling events are scheduled from December 6 to 9.
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