A lot to expect from Indian wrestlers at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
In the recently concluded 2019 World Wrestling championship at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Indian freestyle wrestlers' performance raised the hopes for glory at the Tokyo Olympics. None of the Indians were able to clinch gold at the World Championship but the performances of Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Deepak Punia, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat won the hearts of many sports lovers in India.
Dahiya, Bajrang and won bronze and Deepak settled for silver after he pulled out of the finals due to an injury. In non-Olympics category, Rahul Aware clinched a bronze medal and Pooja Dhanda reached semi-final in her event.
Overall, Indian wrestlers got four Olympic quotas in this event which is a significant improvement. Only one wrestler was able to get Olympic quota through World Wrestling Championship for the Rio Olympics. As many Olympic qualifying events are still to come, India can hope to get more quotas.
Wrestling is a very unpredictable game. As of now, many world champion wrestlers are already through to the Olympics. Chances for remaining Indian hopefuls to book a ticket for Tokyo look very bright now. So, surely, India will get a good haul of medals from wrestling events at Tokyo.
Now, coming to the performance of the wrestling team.
Vinesh impressed everyone with her performance. On her way to a bronze medal, she beat world and Olympics medalists. Deepak got a good draw and he made the most of it. He reached finals before pulling out due to injury. He is the only silver medalist for India in this tournament.
Bajrang was unlucky in the match against Kazakhs. Some decisions went against him but he managed to get bronze as well as an Olympics spot. He is the biggest thing in Indian wrestling at the moment and will train hard to get gold at the Olympics. An Olympic medal is the only thing which he has not won yet.
Ravi Kumar is the find of this event. He played exceptionally well in the entire tournament. He is the next man to watch, after Bajrang Punia, in Indian wrestling. He will surely get his due at right time in his career.
Rahul Aware impressed every one with his performance. Pooja’s performance too is not less than a medal. In the coming days we may see one of them try their luck in the remaining Olympic qualifying events. After shooting, wrestling seems to be another Olympic sport where India can get medals.
Many congratulations to Indian freestyle wrestling team. Hope Greco-Roman team will get few Olympics quotas too in Asian Qualifying events.
Good luck to Indian Wrestlers!
Cover image credits: Inside Sport