Vikas, Nitesh add to India’s medal tally at World U-23 wrestling championships

Vikas (72kg) and Nitesh (97kg) earned two more bronze medals for the country in the Greco Roman competitions at the World under-23 wrestling championships in Pontevedra, Spain.

Vikas (72kg) (in pic) and Nitesh (97kg) earned two more bronze medals for the country in the Greco Roman competitions at the World under-23 wrestling championships in Pontevedra, Spain.

Vikas (72kg) (in pic) and Nitesh (97kg) earned two more bronze medals for the country in the Greco Roman competitions at the World under-23 wrestling championships in Pontevedra, Spain. | Photo Credit: Twitter | @SAI Media

Vikas (72kg) and Nitesh (97kg) earned two more bronze medals for the country in the Greco Roman competitions at the World under-23 wrestling championships in Pontevedra, Spain.

Vikas (72kg) and Nitesh (97kg) earned two more bronze medals for the country in the Greco Roman competitions at the World under-23 wrestling championships in Pontevedra, Spain.

Sajan Bhanwala (77kg) had opened India’s account with a bronze.

For the first time, Indian Greco Roman wrestlers bagged three bronze medals in the World under-23 event.

Vikas, who beat Kyrgyzstan’s Adilkhan Nurlanbekov 11-0 and Spaniard Marcos Sanchez 10-1 before losing to Croatia’s Pavel Puklavec 9-0 in the semifinals, defeated Japanese Daigo Kobayashi 6-0 in the bronze medal match.

Nitesh got past Spain’s Jose Ferrandiz 10-2 and Egypt’s Sami Elsayed Ali 10-5 before getting beaten by Hungarian Alex Szoke 8-0 in the quarterfinals. Nitesh trounced Serbian Luka Katic 13-4 in the repechage bout and Brazilian Igor Alves de Queiroz 10-0 in the bronze medal contest.

Meanwhile, the inexplicable refusal of visa to the majority of the Indian contingent, including World under-20 champion Antim Panghal, by the Spanish Embassy continued to rankle the Indian coaches and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) officials.

This time India was close to breaking all the records, but it could not happen due to the negative attitude of the Spanish visa authorities, said WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

A Dronacharya award-winning coach also regretted the episode. “Our women’s team is one of the best. But only two women and only one freestyle wrestler got the visa,” he said.

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