The Indian wrestling season for the yr is almost completed, following the conclusion of the Nationwide Championships. Simply the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships scheduled for the third of December stay – a event the place the Indian staff will comprise of the wrestlers who gained gold and silver on the Nationwide Championships final week.
Whereas the nationals had been skipped by the overwhelming majority of frontline wrestlers – only one Olympian from Tokyo took half – the competitors marked out quite a few prospects to pay attention to. Together with a few youthful wrestlers -Tokyo Olympians, Anshu and Sonam Malik– who missed out on the Nationals owing to damage, these might be the faces of the Indian ladies’s wrestling staff over the following Olympic cycle.
Pooja Gehlot, 24
Ladies’s 53kg division
Whereas Vinesh Phogat stays high of the hill within the ladies’s 53kg class, there aren’t any scarcity of claimants to her place within the Indian roster. Staking her declare to be first in that listing of challengers is 24-year-old Pooja Gehlot.
Winner of the silver medal on the U-23 World Championships in 2019, Gehlot sustained an damage within the last of that event. The injury to her elbow stored her out for the following couple of years, solely making her return on the 2021 Nationals.
Within the absence of Phogat, Gehlot gained gold within the 53kg division. Her tenacity and distinctive ability set in floor wrestling had been on show on the Nationals. Trailing 5-10 within the final minute of her last, Gehlot trapped one other rising expertise, Maharashtra’s Swati Shinde, in a intestine wrench to attain 10 unanswered factors. “She’s very fast to seek out openings and has glorious floor wrestling. If she will be able to keep free from damage, she can be a really robust opponent internationally,” says Kuldeep Malik, chief coach of the Indian ladies’s staff.
Shivani Pawar, 22
Ladies’s 50kg division
Not many would have taken a lot discover of Shivani Pawar till the final couple of months.
She began her profession in Madhya Pradesh – no nice energy in wrestling – and hadn’t gained a nationwide title till the newest version. Stricken by accidents to her shoulders and knees over the past couple of years, this yr has been the primary in many who she might practice persistently. She’s made that depend as nicely.
On the U-23 World Championships final month, Pawar, competing with a extreme fever, gained a shock silver medal for India. That medal locations her in an elite listing of simply 7 Indians – together with Olympic medalists, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Dahiya. Simply to show that consequence was no fluke, Pawar got here by way of a troublesome subject to win gold on the nationwide championships per week later, beating 2020 Tokyo Olympian Seema Bisla within the semifinals.
Sangeeta Phogat, 22
Ladies’s 62kg division
Sangeeta Phogat has lengthy been within the shadow of her much more completed sisters and cousins. She might have her breakout season very quickly although.
She returned to excessive stage competitors this yr after a 3 yr break resulting from damage after successful the choice trials for the 2021 World Championships. Though she did not progress far in Oslo, she has proven potential to be India’s mainstay within the 62kg weight division as she gained her first gold on the nationwide championships.
With Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik fully out of shape, Phogat’s principal problem at this weight division can be Tokyo Olympian Sonam Malik. The latter is at the moment recovering from an damage she suffered on the Tokyo Video games and competitors for a spot within the Indian staff can be between her and Phogat.
Nisha Dahiya, 23
Ladies’s 65kg division
Nisha Dahiya was the unintentional focus of hypothesis final week following the dying of a namesake wrestler. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old will possible make the information for the appropriate causes within the subsequent few years.
After receiving a two yr ban as a junior for a doping offence she says was completed unintentionally, Dahiya has slowly been making a powerful case for herself within the seniors. Her gold medal on the Nationals was her third straight within the 65kg division, following her return to competitors in 2019. Per week earlier than she gained her most up-to-date title, she would additionally win her largest worldwide medal – a bronze on the U-23 Worlds.
For all her success, Dahiya will finally must make a name whether or not to maneuver all the way down to the 62kg or as much as the 68kg weight division. Though she’s capable of make weight for the 62kg division, she’s chosen to remain within the non-Olympic weight class, since not doing so would imply being in direct competitors along with her mentor Sakshi Malik. Ought to she transfer down although, her energy is anticipated to make her a significant menace.