Phogats on Top! Vinesh, Ritu Bag Gold at Wrestling Nationals

Punjab’s Harpreet Singh defeated Amarnath Yadav of Railways to win the gold medal in 82kg Greco-Roman category.

Olympic Sports
2 min read
File photo of Vinesh Phogat.

Phogat sisters Vinesh and Ritu won in their respective weight categories on the opening day of the National Wrestling Championship in Indore on 16 November

While Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh, representing Railways, finished on the top of the podium after getting the better of Haryana's Manisha in the women's 55-kg category, youngster Ritu won the women's 50-kg event after beating Nirmala.

According to the national women's team India coach Kuldeep Malik, both the Phogats performed well. In Greco-Roman, Harpreet Singh of Punjab defeated Amarnath Yadav of Railways to win the gold medal in the 82-kg weight division.

All Eyes on Sushil Kumar

Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar will be the cynosure of all eyes when he returns to the mat after three long years at the National Wrestling Championship on 18 November.

While Sushil is the lone big name in men's freestyle wrestling, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik (62kg) and Geeta Phogat will be the star attractions in the women's field at the four-day event.

London Games bronze winner Yogeshwar Dutt will continue his absence from the competitive fold, while his protege Bajrang Punia also won't be seen in action as he is all set to participate in the Under-23 World Championships to be held in Bydgoszcz, Poland from 21-26 November.

Babita Kumari, meanwhile, will not be a part of the tournament owing to an injury.

File photo of Sushil Kumar. 
File photo of Sushil Kumar. 
(Photo: Reuters)

Gearing up for a comeback next year with Commonwealth and Asian Games lined up, Sushil is not expected to leave any stone unturned when he will vie for top honours in 74kg category at the Nationals. He will be representing Railways.

Sushil, who was having a training stint in Tbilisi, Georgia, rushed back to the country last week to take part in the selection trial against Dinesh in the 74kg category.

But he hardly had to break a sweat as Dinesh, the national junior champion, gave him a walk over.

"Wrestling fans will see a re-energised Sushil Kumar at the nationals," Sushil had said after qualifying for the competition.

The 34-year-old was last seen in action at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where he finished with a gold.

Sushil was stopped from taking part at the Rio Olympics in 2016 after the WFI reneged on its promise of holding a trial to decide who among him and and Narsingh would represent India at the Summer Games.

Subsequently, Sushil took legal recourse but even the Delhi High Court rejected his plea for a trial in 74kg category and he could not get a showdown with Narsingh as had been promised to him by the WFI after an injury prevented him from competing in the Olympic qualifiers earlier.

(With inputs from PTI)

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