- Indian Wrestlers Won 5 Medals at World Championships
- Deepak Poonia becomes the best junior wrestler
- Sushil Kumar and Sakshi fall in performance
Indian Wrestling: The year 2019 became the best year for Indian Wrestling. Most of the top wrestlers performed as expected in 2019 but the brightest star among them was Deepak Punia. Veteran Bajrang Punia and lady wrestler Vinesh Phogat also kept the world high on the world stage. In view of this performance, the Olympic Games in Tokyo are also expected to perform well for the wrestlers. Veteran and Olympic giants Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik's poor performances were also in the limelight amid this splendid performance by new wrestlers. Achieving five medals and four Olympic quota places at the World Cup Championship this year was an unprecedented performance for Indian wrestlers.
Bajrang Punia (65 kg) and Vinesh Phogat (53 kg) secured podium places besides securing Tokyo 2020 quota but were expected to win a better medal than bronze. Deepak (86 kg) became the Junior World Champion early in the year and he made headlines by securing Olympic quota with a silver medal in the World Championship. He would become the second Indian wrestler to do so after winning a gold medal, Sushil Kumar (2010), but was forced to withdraw from the final due to an ankle injury. The best news, however, came at the end of the year when he was voted the best junior wrestler of the year by the sports governing body, United World Wrestling. Deepak's father from Haryana sells milk. Deepak first came into the news through the 2016 Cadet World Championship Gold Medal. In 2018, he won only one medal at the senior level but this year, after two bronze and one silver, he finished second in Noor Sultan with his career best.
The journey from junior to senior circuit was good for this wrestler, but now he is the number one wrestler in the world, which would have raised a lot of expectations from him in the Olympic year. On the other hand, Bajrang Poonia participated in any tournament he participated in before the World Championship. He took gold medals in Dan Klov, Asian Championship, Ali Aliev and Yasar Dogu, but the opponent understood his 'leg defense' well until the World Championship. Daulat Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan stopped his superb form in Noor Sultan and it was quite surprising as he was a strong contender to win the title as the number one wrestler in the world. Bajrang complained after the defeat that the judges favored the domestic wrestler but it cannot be denied that he had lost the early lead. He is currently at number two in the world rankings and has started work on strengthening his weak defense and for this he is working with new Russian partner Viktor Rosadin at a training camp in Sonepat.
Ravi Dahiya (Ravi Dahiya), another wrestler from a poor family, impressed with his strong technique, powerful defense and most importantly his temperament, which makes him a strong contender for the Olympic medal. His bronze medal at the World Championship was surprising to many but he showed his ability in the Pro League. With this, India can expect more than one medal from wrestlers in the Tokyo Olympics. Rahul Aware also increased India's medal tally with bronze, though it was in the non-Olympic 61 kg category. Vinesh Phogat has raised her Olympic medal hopes by winning her first medal at the World Championship. In one of the biggest events of the Olympic classes, Vinesh not only defeated her rivals but also increased her confidence by defeating some.
The year has been a trying time to prove itself for Sushil Kumar (Sushil Kumar) and Rio 2016 bronze medalist Sakshi Malik, who won two Olympic medals amidst a spate of new wrestlers in the field of wrestling. Both of them participated in the World Championship after winning the national trials, but neither of them could last more than one round. In Sushil's (36 years) wrestling, speculation about the future has also intensified, while young Sakshi (27 years) has been underperforming in most tournaments after winning a bronze at Rio Olympics. He was also excluded from the government's TOPS system, which did not make his future look good. However, at the end of the year, he won the national title in 62 kg.
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