National wrestling squad: Golden girls from Haryana's hinterland ready to shine again

  • Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 07, 2015 20:58 IST

Once again a bunch of girls from Haryana’s hinterland are shining bright. As many as seven girls from the Jatland have overcome the gender taboo and proved their mettle in the selection trials for the eight-member national wrestling squad.

What’s more, the eighth member of the squad for the world championship, to be held in US from September 7, comes from Punjab.

London Olympian Geeta Phogat, who won the trials in the 58-kg category, will lead the Indian challenge in Las Vegas. She is a bronze medallist at the 2012 world meet and added another bronze to her kitty at the Doha Asian championship in May.

Geeta’s sister Vinesh, who made it to the medal podium in both Asian and Commonwealth Games held last year, emerged out to be the best choice in the 48-kg category during the trials held at the Sports Authority of India centre in Lucknow.

Nirmala Devi (53kg), Lalita (55kg), Sarita (63kg), Anita (63kg) and Nikki (75) are other players from the state who have secured a berth in the national squad.

Punjab’s Navjot, who won bronze medal in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, has made it to the squad in the 69-kg category. She is employed with the Railways. “The world championship is going to be very important tournament for us, as the Rio Olympic berth is at stake. All of us are geared up to give our best shot,” said Geeta, who became the country’s firstever women wrestler to compete in the Olympics.

“In London, my performance was only limited to participation, but I am training to make it to the podium at Rio,” said the Haryana police personnel.

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