Harpreet wins silver, Gyanender gets bronze as India finish strongly
After a strong show, Harpreet Singh had to settle for the second-best position to get his first silver medal after three consecutive bronze from this prestigious tournament.
NEW DELHI: India’s Greco-Roman wrestlers finished their campaign on a high with two more medals -- a silver through Harpreet Singh (82kg) and a bronze through Gyanender (60kg) as the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 came to an end at Xi’an, China on Sunday. With this, India earned three silver and one bronze in Greco-Roman wrestling which bettered their tally of two bronze from the last edition and is India’s best ever showing in this discipline so far at the Asian Championships.
After a strong show, Harpreet Singh had to settle for the second-best position to get his first silver medal after three consecutive bronze from this prestigious tournament. In the final, Iran’s Saeid Morad Abdvali, a former world champion and Olympic medallist, never allowed the Indian to settle and registered an 8-0 win by Technical Superiority.
Harpreet had begun his campaign with a 5-1 win over Burgo Beishaliev of Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-finals and continued to shine against China’s Haitao Qian in a commanding 10-1 victory in the semi-finals.
In 60kg, Gyanender stamped his authority over Taipei’s Jui Chi Huang in a dazzling 9-0 result to take the bronze. He had earlier beaten Ali Abed Alnaser Ali Abuseif of Jordan 9-1 in the quarters but lost his semi-final bout 0-9 to Islomjon Bakhramov. With the Uzbek making it to the final, Gyanender got a chance to contest the bronze medal play-off and made the most of it.
In 72kg, Yogesh missed the bronze as he went down 0-8 to Kyrgyzstan’s Ruslan Tsarev. The Indian had lost his quarter-final 0-9 to Hujun Zhang but with the Chinese reaching the final, Yogesh got to fight for the bronze.
While in 97kg, Hardeep failed to overcome the quarter-final hurdle, Ravinder could not make it past the qualifications in 67kg.
The increase in the medal count this time has reflected the surging confidence levels from India’s Greco-Roman wrestlers after the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) sent them abroad for training. Even though Greco-Roman has not been India’s forte, it has already taken giant strides forward to slowly becoming a powerhouse.
The 30-member Indian wrestling contingent thus had an impressive showing at this six-day continental event, winning a total of 1 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze.