37th sub-junior nationals: Maharashtra wrestlers unable to push for gold, finish third overall
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37th sub-junior nationals: Maharashtra wrestlers unable to push for gold, finish third overall

Most state wrestlers crash out in quarters or semi-finals; coach cites fatigue

pune Updated: Mar 15, 2018 23:27 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,37th-junior nationals
Solapur’s Saurabh Igave of Maharashtra (red) in action against Aman of Haryana on the last day of the 37th sub-junior national wrestling at Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi.(SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO)

On the last day of the 37th sub-junior national wrestling at Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi, Maharashtra finished with a tally of one silver and five bronze medals, compared to one gold and five bronze medals last year in the freestyle category.

Overall, Haryana continued its domination and finished with 220 points, followed by Delhi with 156 points and Maharashtra third, with 102 points.

Kolhapur’s Atul Chechar won silver in the 51kg weight category while Sanket Thakur (51kg), Vetal Shelke (71kg), Ramesh Ingawle (55kg), Saurabh Igave (48kg) and Vipul Thorat (45kg) won bronze medals each.

“Our wrestlers did well to reach the semifinals, but they were fatigued due to the lack of recovery time. Otherwise we would have won more medals,” said Maharashtra coach, Ravneer Singh Rahal

Atul misses gold by a whisker

Atul, 17, last year’s gold medallist, was a strong contender for gold in the 51kg category. However in the final, he went down to Haryana’s Vipin 4-3. With just few seconds remaining Atul needed just one point to level the score. As per the rules, if the score is level, the wrestler who won the last point is declared the winner. Just one point behind his opponent, Atul gripped his opponent’s right leg and tried his best to push him out of the circle. However, Vipin remained firm till the final bell.

“I am very disappointed with the result. I shouldn’t have missed the gold. The last move didn’t work out well,” said Atul.

Atul comes from a humble background. His father, Bhimrao is a daily wage labourer and cannot afford the expenses for his son’s wrestling training. Atul manages his own expenses through cash prizes from different wrestling tournaments.

“Fortunately this will end soon as I have been selected by BEG Boys Group and now will start my training at Bareily, Uttar Pradesh. This will definitely improve my performance and soon I will fulfil my dream of winning an international medal,” he said.

Saurabh struggles between wrestling and exams

Solapur’s Saurabh Igave is son of famous wrestler Madhukar Igave and is already under pressure to continue his father’s legacy. However during the sub-junior nationals the 17-year-old wrestler was worried about his SSC exams.

“Tomorrow is my Science 2 paper and I have read a little about the subject. I am immediately leaving for Solapur and will try to read as much possible while travelling but it is difficult. My mind is totally occupied with today’s performance and how I should have played,” he said.

“I wrote the earlier papers like this as well and don’t know what the result will be. My focus is on wrestling and I want to do better every time. Of course studies are important too,” added Saurabh.

A cadet national gold medallist in 2016, Saurabh has participated in a few international tournaments, but is yet to win a medal.

Delhi wrestler disqualified

Delhi’s wrestler Ravi Naresh was found to be overage and was stripped of his bronze medal in the 80kg weight category.

“Wrestling Federation of India has given strict instructions to disqualify any wrestler if found guilty. As per the rules, the medal goes to the wrestler who lost against him. Rohit Dahiya of Sport Authority of India (SAI) is also under verification. The medal and it will not be awarded to anyone,” said Ashok Kumar, from the jury of appeal committee.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 23:24 IST