World test awaits confident junior Indian grapplers

New Delhi: Buoyed by their success in the Asian Junior Championships, young Indian grapplers would be eyeing a rich medal haul at the World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria starting from Tuesday.

Led by promising grappler, Mangal Kadyan, India have sent a 24-member contingent in the three styles -- Greco-Roman, men`s freestyle and women`s freestyle.

The World Championships will be held at Arena Armeetz from August 13 to 18.

India had won a whopping 17 medals -- three gold, five silver and nine bronze -- in the Asian championships held at Phuket, Thailand in June. The freestyle wrestlers had bagged the overall trophy ahead of heavyweights Iran.

However, some of the medal winners at the Asian event have been left out of the squad.

Freestyle wrestlers Pradeep Kumar (60kg) and Sumit (96kg), who won gold medals in Phuket, have been replaced by Parveen and Satyawart Kadian. Silver-medallist in the Asian Championships, Vikas (66kg), and Mandeep (55kg), bronze medal winner, too have missed the bus to Sofia.

"The selection trials for the competition were held last month. All the wrestlers who won medals in the Asian Championships were invited for selection trials. Some of them have not been selected as they did not attend the trials while for others we found their replacements more suitable for the Worlds," Wrestling Federation of India general secretary Raj Singh said.

Two medal winners, each from Greco-Roman and women`s freestyle, from the Asian event also failed to make it to the Indian squad.

"The boys were in a training camp at Sonepat while girls prepared for these Championships in Lucknow. We are hoping for a good show from them," he said.

More than 600 of the top junior wrestlers representing 58 nations would be participating in the six-day long event.

Indian squad:
Freestyle - Mangal Kadyan (50kg), Devender Kumar (55kg), Parveen (60kg), Dinesh Kumar (66kg), Pardeep (74kg), Ajit (84kg), Satyawart Kadian (96kg) and Surjeet (120kg).
Greco Roman style - Santosh Kumar Yadav (50kg), Nitin (55kg), Pritam Shamarao Khot (60kg), Yogesh (66kg), Gupreet Singh (74kg), Harpreet Singh (84kg), Praveen Dagar (96kg) and Sonu (120kg).

Female Wrestling - Sheetal Tomar (44kg), Mamta Rani (48kg), Lalita (51kg), Pooja Dhanda (59kg), Ritu (59kg), Sarita (63kg), Anuradha Tomar (67kg) and Manisha Mahadev Divekar (72kg).

PTI