September 25, 2022

Right here is the lowdown on three wrestlers who will lead India’s problem in males’s wrestling at Tokyo Olympics.

Seema Bisla (50kg)

Rating: 7

Kind information: 2021: Gold in World Olympic qualifier in Bulgaria; Bronze in Asian championships in Kazakhstan; Fourth place in Asian Olympic qualifier in Kazakhstan.

Principal rivals: Three-time Olympic medallist and a number of Worlds medallist Maria Stadnik (Aze), double Worlds medallist Ana Vuc (Rom), Worlds bronze winner Valentina Islamova (Kaz), Particular person World Cup gold winner Ekaterina Poleshchuk (Rus), Worlds bronze medallist Oksana Livach (Ukr), World and Olympic medallist Solar Yanan (Chn), former Worlds silver medallist Sarah Hildebrandt (USA), and former Worlds bronze medallist Evin Demirhan (Tun).

Coming from a humble background, the lady from Gudan village in Rohtak district learnt wrestling at her faculty with out realising the huge scope of the game. As her father Azad Singh, a small-time farmer, might barely handle to feed his household, together with 4 daughters and a son, wrestling was a method for Seema Bisla to land a job.

With out correct steerage, Seema competed in several weights classes, from 50kg to 67kg, throughout her youth. In her personal phrases, “No person needed to show me.” She received medals at junior and elite stage occasions with out making an impression. A trial for a Railways job in 2016 kick-started her profession in the actual sense of the time period. Railways’ coach Paramjeet Singh noticed potential in her and Seema not solely received a job but additionally an in a position guru.


Indian wrestler Seema Bisla along with her coach Paramjeet Yadav at her academy in Farrukh Nagar.


Seema shifted from her sister’s place in Rohtak to Gurgaon to coach on the Paramjeet Sports activities Academy. Paramjeet not solely skilled Seema but additionally suggested her to enhance her eating regimen to realize power. It helped and inside just a few months she claimed her maiden Nationwide title in Indore in 2017.

In 2019, with the World championships across the nook, Paramjeet requested Seema to settle in 50kg as star wrestler Vinesh Phogat had switched to 53kg. Seema misplaced within the repechage spherical within the World championships, which was an Olympic qualifying occasion.

Seema lastly made the lower for the Olympics within the World qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, in Could 2021. The 29-year-old, who’s employed with the Haryana Sports activities Division as a wrestling coach, desires to make her Olympic look depend.

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Vinesh Phogat (53kg)

Rating: 1

Kind information: 2021: Gold in Ukranian wrestlers and coaches memorial event, Ukraine; Gold in Matteo Pellicone Rating Sequence, Italy; Gold in Asian championships, Kazakhstan and Gold in Poland Open, Poland.

Principal rivals: two-time World champion Mayu Mukaida (Jpn), twice Worlds medallist Pang Qianyu (Chn), Particular person World Cup gold medallist Maria Prevolaraki (Gre), Worlds bronze medallist Roksana Zasina (Pol), former Worlds bronze medallist Lianna Montero (Cub), World champion in 55kg Jacarra Winchester (USA), World and Olympic medallist Sofia Mattsson (Swe), two-time World champion Vanesa Kaladzinshaya (Blr), Worlds bronze medallist Bat-Ochiryn Bolortuyaa (Mgl), two-time Asian champion Tatyana Akhmetova-Amanzhol (Kaz) and European champion Olga Khoroshavtseva (Rus).  


Vinesh Phogat is the highest seed within the 53kg class for Tokyo Olympics.

Vinesh Phogat, a feisty fighter, charted her personal course breaking away from the glory related along with her surname primarily earned by her well-known cousin sisters, Geeta and Babita.

Vinesh confirmed her promise early on the junior stage and made fast progress to say her maiden Nationwide title in 2012. She carried on her success story to win medals on the Asian championships in 2013.

Her gold medal within the Commonwealth Video games and bronze within the Asian Video games in 2014 made her a robust candidate for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The proficient wrestler needed to bid adieu to Rio in ache and tears as she twisted her knee throughout a struggle. Nonetheless, the strong-willed Vinesh fought again to say her class and once more received medals in elite occasions.

Vinesh raised her profile by turning into the primary lady wrestler to win gold medals within the 2018 Commonwealth and Asian Video games. Thus far shuffling between 48kg and 53kg, Vinesh lastly made up her thoughts to settle in 53kg. She claimed her maiden World championships medal, a bronze, in Nur-Sultan and an Olympic quota place in 2019.

Her constant efficiency, together with the Asian crown in 2021, in varied elite occasions has made the 26-year-old, who can be a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award winner, one of many brightest medal prospects for the nation within the Tokyo Olympics.

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Anshu Malik (57kg)

Rating: 9

Kind information: 2021: Gold in Asian championships, Kazakhstan; Silver in Asian Olympic qualifier in Kazakhstan; Gold in Nationwide championships, Agra; 2020: Silver in Particular person World Cup, Bulgaria.

Principal rivals: World and Olympic champion Risako Kawai (Jpn), former World champion Rong Ningning (Chn), twice Worlds bronze medallist Iryna Kurachkina (Blr), three-time Worlds medallist and twice CWG champion Odunayo Adekuoroye (Ngr), Particular person World Cup winner Anastasia Nichita (Mda), Olympic champion in 53kg and two-time World champion Helen Maroulis (USA), former Worlds bronze medallist Evelina Nikolova (Bul), and Particular person World Cup bronze medallist Veronika Chumikova (Rus).

Wrestling is within the blood of 19-year-old Anshu Malik, who alongside along with her pal Sonam Malik, has amazed the lovers of the game along with her performances on the highest stage.


Anshu Malik (left) and Vinesh Phogat


Anshu’s father Dharamvir, a former wrestler from Nidani village in Jind district of Haryana, had determined that his clever daughter would concentrate on research, whereas his son would carry ahead the household’s wrestling custom.

Nonetheless, Anshu – impressed by his father, uncle Pawan and their guru Dronacharya award winner Om Prakash Dahiya – requested her grandmother to impress upon Dharamvir to permit her to wrestle.

Aside from gold medals in home competitions, Anshu’s constant medal profitable performances at cadet and junior stage in Asian and World championships from 2017 to 2019 showcased her expertise.

Her father requested the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to provide an opportunity to Anshu, a former World cadet and junior champion, on the elite stage and WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh allowed {the teenager} to compete with the perfect.

A gold medal in 59kg in 2019 Nationwide championships, a bronze medal on the Asian championships and an Particular person World Cup silver in 2020 and one other gold within the Nationwide championships this yr have been proof of Anshu’s calibre. She beat established wrestlers, together with Sarita Mor, Ponki and Lalita, within the trials to be chosen for the Asian Olympic qualifier and secured a quota place in 57kg in Almaty this yr.

Anshu and her room-mate Sonam and their fathers, Dharamvir and Rajender who’re additionally room-mates in Lucknow whereas offering help to their daughters on the Nationwide camp, make a novel instance of bonding and might be desirous to expertise success collectively in Tokyo.


Dharamvir, Anshu, WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Sonam and Rajender.

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Sonam Malik (62kg)

Rating: 28

Kind information: 2021: Silver in Asian Olympic qualifier in Kazakhstan; Gold in Nationwide championships, Agra; 2020: Quarterfinalist in Particular person World Cup, Serbia.

Principal rivals: World and Asian Video games champion Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kgz), six-time Worlds medallist Taybe Yusein (Bul), twice Worlds medallists Henna Johansson (Swe) and Yukako Kawai (Jpn), former World champion Marianna Sastin (Hun), Worlds silver medallist Iryna Koliadenko (Ukr), double Worlds bronze medallist Anastasija Grigorjeva (Lat), and Worlds silver medallist in 59kg Lyubov Ovcharova (Rus).

One other 19-year-old sensation, Sonam Malik has made a reputation for herself early in her profession by beating Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik a number of occasions and securing an Olympic quota place in 62kg.

Sonam, from Madina village in Gohana block of Sonepat district, benefited when her father’s pal Ajmer Malik retired from Military to open the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Sports activities Academy of their locality in 2012.

In line with Ajmer, initially Sonam didn’t like to come back to the academy however was an obedient pupil. As soon as she received a grasp of the game, Sonam confirmed enchancment and received a gold and a bronze within the World cadet championships in 2017 and 2018, respectively.


Sonam Malik (centre)


Nonetheless, Sonam didn’t have the boldness to beat Sakshi when her coach requested the Wrestling Federation of India to advertise the younger wrestler to the best stage.

Armed with a nothing-to-lose angle, Sonam beat Sakshi on the Nationwide championships in Agra in 2021 and once more within the trials for the Olympic qualifier.

Like her pal, Sonam additionally received a silver medal and secured a berth within the Olympics on the Asian Olympic qualifier in Kazakhstan this yr.

Time will inform whether or not she recovers from her knee damage and will get slot in time to provide her finest in Tokyo.

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