Khelo India Games: Haryana rule in wrestling, clinch 24 medals
Haryana continued their domination in wrestling as the girls secured 14 medals, including eight gold while the boys won 10 medals in the Khelo India games.other sports Updated: Feb 04, 2018 18:24 IST
Wrestling powerhouse Haryana won the men’s and women’s freestyle championships in the inaugural Khelo India School Games at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex on Sunday.
However, in the medal rush, girls toppled boys by winning 14 medals, eight of them gold. The team also won two silver and four bronze.
The boys’ team, however, won only 10 medals, including three gold. They also won four silver and three bronze.
With Haryana having a formidable line-up in the medal round, including cadet world championship medallists, rival teams were reduced to grappling for lower positions. Anshu, who won gold in the cadet world championship held in Greece last year, gave a flying start to her team by winning the 60kg gold. She defeated Leena Anthony of Karnataka 12-0.
In 65kg, Sonam, also a world cadet champion, outplayed Haryana teammate Mansi 2-0. In 70kg, Ravita Kumari beat Pathan Sanofar of Gujarat.
Haryana also won gold in the 38kg, 48kg, 46kg, 49kg and 56kg categories.
If girls were outright winners, the boys’ team faced stiff challenge from Delhi. Haryana and Delhi were neck and neck in the race for gold, finishing with three victories each.
At national level, grapplers from the Northern states generally have an upper hand, but in this school competition, other states, including Karnataka, are making an impression. Even Gujarat won two silver in the girls’ section (48kg, 70 kg).
Haryana coach-cum-manager Ramesh Sihag said the dominance of Northern states is gradually fading at this level. “In the last four-five years, wrestlers from other states too have starting entering the medal rounds,” he said.
Continuity the key
He said if wrestlers who compete at school level continued till college, it will change the scene at the national level. “Some experts from Haryana are coaching in other states. It’s mainly responsible for making wrestling popular in other regions.”
In Greco-Roman category, Uttar Pradesh walked away with the overall trophy after claiming six medals, three of them gold. They also won one silver and two bronze. Delhi were runners-up with two gold and four bronze.
In the women’s group, Maharashtra were second with seven medals – one gold, two silver and four bronze. With six medals, Delhi were third (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze).
Delhi finished second in the boys’ section, winning eight medals, three of them gold. The team also won three silver and two bronze.
In Greco-Roman, Delhi finished second (two gold, four bronze) while Maharashtra were third (one gold, two silver, two bronze).