September 28, 2022

Wrestling has been India’s go-to self-discipline for medals on the Olympic Video games with the game delivering a medal in every of the final three editions.

After hockey, no different self-discipline has gained India extra medals than wrestling and in Rio 5 years in the past, India opened its account with a bronze medal in wrestling gained by Sakshi Malik.

Indian wrestling’s report on the Olympics

Athlete 12 months Medal
KD Jadhav 1952 Olympics Bronze Medal
Sushil Kumar 2008 Olympics Bronze Medal
Sushil Kumar 2012 Olympics Silver Medal
Yogeshwar Dutt 2012 Olympics Bronze Medal
Sakshi Malik 2016 Olympics Bronze Medal

Come Tokyo 2020 (2021), India as soon as once more have excessive hopes from its wrestlers who go into the Video games on the again of constant achievements on the worldwide stage during the last 5 years.

India will discipline seven wrestlers, headlined by Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia.

Then there are kids like Anshu Malik and Sonam Malik within the girls’s class, who sprang a shock by their relatively fast success after transferring from the junior to the senior circuit.

Among the many males, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia haven’t been talked up as a lot as a few of their current performances advantage and have the potential to finish up on the rostrum.

Indian males’s freestyle contingent

Wrestler Class Possible dates
Ravi Kumar Dahiya −57 kg 4 Aug
Bajrang Punia −65 kg 6 Aug
Deepak Punia −86 kg 4 Aug

Indian girls’s freestyle contingent

Wrestler Athlete Possible dates
Seema Bisla −50 kg 6 Aug
Vinesh Phogat −53 kg 5 Aug
Anshu Malik −57 kg 4 Aug
Sonam Malik −62 kg 3 Aug

Regardless of the joy surrounding the Indian contingent and their medal prospects, the group will not be wealthy by way of Olympic expertise. Solely Vinesh Phogat has been a part of the Olympics earlier than. Bajrang though fairly skilled has by no means participated within the quadrennial Video games both.

The opposite wrestlers will all make their Olympic debuts in Tokyo and should deal with the nerves of such a giant stage.

Right here’s an in depth take a look at each Indian wrestler on the Video games and their prospects in Tokyo


Seeding: 2nd

Bajrang Punia profession achievements

Occasion 1st 2nd third
Olympic Video games
World Championships 1 2
Asian Video games 1 1
Commonwealth Video games 1 1
World U23 Wrestling Championships 1
Asian Championships 2 3 2
Commonwealth Championships 2
Whole 6 7 4

Bajrang Punia SWOT Evaluation

Power Stamina, energy, assault
Weak spot Leg defence, conceding factors early
Alternative Good type. Bajrang has gained three medals since sealing qualification in 2019
Risk Takuto Otoguro (JPN), Gadzhimurad Rashidov (RUS), Tulga Tumur Ochir (MGL), Iszmail Muszukajev (HUN)

What to anticipate in Tokyo?

Bajrang has been a significant pressure on the world stage and has stood on the rostrum in every of his final 10 worldwide tournaments, successful six gold medals, three silver and one bronze.

At all times thriving on superior stamina, leg defence has been a problem for Bajrang for lengthy. He has labored on this facet of his sport. He’s competing in one of the vital aggressive weight classes that has at the very least 6-8 wrestlers, who’re all medal contenders.

“I really feel 65kg is the hardest class on this planet. There isn’t any wrestler who has successively defended world championship titles or Olympic gold medals. There may be all the time a brand new champion in each version. There are robust wrestlers on this class who can beat anybody on their day,” Punia had instructed reporters in March.

The 27-year-old should be sure that he doesn’t give away too many early factors in a discipline that options tactically robust rivals.

“My coaches say I find yourself losing a whole lot of energy in that time restoration course of, so I now attempt to not concede these early factors. My coaching has been such since my early days that my sport has grow to be power-oriented. However nonetheless, I’ve labored on my leg defence and it’s got higher,” he stated.


Seeding: 4th

Ravi Dahiya’s profession achievements

Occasion 1st 2nd third
Olympic Video games
World Championships 1
World U23 Wrestling Championships 1
Asian Championships 2
Whole 2 1 1
Power Potential to launch relentless assaults
Weak spot Could be unsettled with early point-scoring strikes
Alternative Is not thought-about a giant favorite so he could have much less exterior strain.
Risk Zavur Uguev (RUS), Suleyman Atli (TUR), Yuki Takahashi (JPN)

What to anticipate in Tokyo?

If there’s one wrestler, who didn’t hog a lot of the limelight however is a real medal contender, that’s quiet and shy Ravi Dahiya.

A product of Chhatarsal stadium, Ravi is a gradual starter however begins to dominate the competition because the clock ticks away. He possesses immense power, stamina and is technically sound.

“I don’t assume anybody can match me in stamina. It’s not nearly qualification for Olympics alone, I believe I can win a medal,” Dahiya had instructed in an interview final yr.

Nevertheless, he can’t afford to depart an excessive amount of work for the second interval because it occurred on the Poland Open, the place he conceded a 0-8 lead within the ultimate and ran out of time to make up.

“I’ve to organize. I didn’t win gold however the end result there (at Olympics) shall be much more essential. That’s what I’m targeted on. However I’ve time. I’ll use it in the absolute best manner,” Dahiya had stated again then. In Tokyo, it’s time to show it.


Seeding: 2nd

Deepak Punia profession achievements

Occasion 1st 2nd third
Olympic Video games
World Championships 1
World Junior Wrestling Championships 1 1
World Cadet Championships 1
Asian Championships 2
Whole 2 2 2

Deepak Punia SWOT evaluation

Power Flexibility, energy, stamina, assault
Weak spot Defence
Risk Hasan Yazdani (IRI), David Morris Taylor (USA), Artur Naifonov (RUS).

What to anticipate in Tokyo?

Whereas Deepak was making regular progress from the junior to senior circuit, he’s heading to Tokyo under-prepared by way of competitors time. He has not competed because the 2020 World Cup and was nursing a left-hand harm earlier than the Poland Open from which he withdrew.

Lack of publicity on the senior stage means there’s unpredictability round him however on the identical time, it might work in opposition to him.

“Sushil and Sakshi weren’t tipped to win Olympic medals, however they did,” Deepak’s coach Virender Kumar stated.

Seeded second, Deepak shall be avoiding his rival, Iranian nice Hassan Yazdani, within the early rounds. Yazdani is an opponent who has acquired the higher of him on the Asian and World Championship finals.

“Yazdani grew in stature and progressed by beating his seniors, so it’s not that he’s invincible. This time if Deepak has to wrestle with him, he shall be ready,” Virender stated.

“Yazdani is tall and makes use of his arms effectively to confuse his opponent. Deepak stood in entrance of him and that was a mistake. Now he has to maneuver sideways and launch the assault from there, not from the entrance,” added Virender.


Seeding: 1st

Vinesh Phogat profession achievements

Occasion 1st 2nd third
Olympic Video games
World Championships 1
Asian Video games 1 1
Commonwealth Video games 2
Asian Championships 1 3 4
Whole 4 3 6

Vinesh Phogat’s SWOT evaluation

Power Energy, tactical acumen
Weak spot Shedding factors on counter-attack
Alternative Nice type that made her high seed. The seeding has helped her keep away from huge weapons early.
Risk Mayu Mukaida (JPN)

What to anticipate in Tokyo?

The way in which Vinesh has dominated the circuit, she is definitely a robust gold contender in her class. Within the 17 competitions she has wrestled in because the Rio Olympics, she has gained a medal in every one among them barring the 2017 World Championships. Out of the 16 medals, one is a bronze medal on the World Championships in 2019 which certified her for the Olympics. 9 others are gold.

The change in weight class has labored effectively for her as she now has extra power in her muscle tissues.

“I acquired one additional yr to regulate to a brand new weight class,” stated Phogat.

“Even when my assaults had been half makes an attempt at 50kg, I’d end them with my power however not at 53kg. The assault must be 100% or else the opponents can even cease me from attacking. So if you happen to see my bouts, I take a minute or so to grasp them after which determine my assaults. If they’re making their strikes or ready for my strikes,” Phogat added.

She is a tactically superior wrestler, has immense energy that makes her one of many favourites however she should overcome Japan’s Mayu Mukaida, a wrestler who has defeated her thrice since 2019.

Phogat shall be happy there are not any followers to cheer the native on at Tokyo, but when she harbours hopes of successful the gold, she has to get the higher of the Japanese.


Seeding: NA

Seema Bisla profession achievements

Occasion 1st 2nd third
Olympic Video games
World Championships
Asian Video games
Commonwealth Video games
Asian Championships 1
Whole 0 0 1

Seema Bisla SWOT evaluation

Power Endurance, capability to make comeback
Weak spot Lack of big-stage expertise, defence
Alternative A comparatively unknown amount, Appears has shock ingredient
Risk Mariya Stadnik (AZE), Yui Susaki (JPN)

What to anticipate in Tokyo?

Not many anticipated Seema to qualify for the Video games however she punched her ticket on the World Qualifiers in Bulgaria in a depleted discipline. Whereas she is gritty, lack of expertise on the huge stage is a giant downside. There are at the very least eight wrestlers in her class in opposition to whom she has by no means competed.

Nevertheless, it will also be a power as they wouldn’t be too conscious of what to anticipate from the Indian who might make this shock ingredient work in her favour.


Seeding: NA

Anshu Malik profession achievements

Occasion 1st 2nd third
Olympic Video games
World Championships
World Junior Wrestling Championships
World Cadet Championships
Asian Championships 1 1
Whole 1 0 1

Anshu Malik SWOT evaluation

Power Tactically sound, attacking model
Weak spot Lack of expertise
Alternative Achieve priceless expertise of huge stage
Risk Risako Kawai (JPN), Odunayo Folasade (NGR), Iryna Kurachkina (BLR)

By qualifying for the Tokyo Video games, Anshu has exceeded the set targets. Anshu is fierce on the mat. Tokyo will largely assist her acquire expertise on the largest stage. She has nothing to lose.

Nevertheless, the current Asian championship gold would have given Anshu the mandatory elevate forward of such a giant occasion.

“I used to be by no means fearful of the seniors. I used to be simply ready to take them on. I all the time needed to win these medals, have the texture of the rostrum. Even at college, I needed to come back first,” Anshu instructed PTI earlier this month.

“I’m mentally very robust. I don’t get perturbed even when somebody makes a unfavorable remark about me or tells me that I gained’t have the ability to do effectively in opposition to robust rivals. It doesn’t have an effect on me,” she added.


Seeding: NA

Profession Achievements: Sonam Malik hasn’t gained a medal at main occasions in senior-level wrestling. Nevertheless, she’s gained gold within the World College Video games, a bronze medal within the Cadet Asian Wrestling Championship and completed with a gold within the Cadet World Wrestling Championship.

Power Approach, scoring on counter-attacks
Weak spot Lack of expertise
Risk Yukako Kawai (JPN), Aisuluu Tynybekova (KGZ), Taybe Mustafa Yusein (BUL), Kayla Miracle (USA)

Like Anshu, Sonam too is a shock qualifier as she has not competed even on the junior stage, leaping straight into the senior circuit from the Cadet stage. She shot to fame together with her 4 consecutive victories over Rio bronze medallist Sakshi Malik within the home enviornment.

It’s uncommon that somebody who has not had the publicity even on the junior stage, is claimed to be prepared for competitions on the highest stage.

After a lot persuasion all through 2019, the WFI allowed Sonam to compete in trials for the Rome Rating sequence occasion in January 2020.

Sonam can also be nursing a knee harm that has severely hampered her preparations for the Video games.


Wrestling schedule Tokyo 2020

Occasion Title Schedule
Girls’s Freestyle 50kg Seema Bisla AUG 6, FRI AM: Rd of 16, QFs AUG 6, FRI PM: SFs AUG 7, SAT PM: Repechage, medals
Girls’s Freestyle 53kg Vinesh Phogat AUG 5, THU AM: Rd of 16, QFsAUG 5, THU PM: SFsAUG 6, FRI AM: RepechageAUG 6, FRI PM: Medal matches
Girls’s Freestyle 57kg Anshu Malik AUG 4, WED AM: Rd of 16, QFs AUG 4, WED PM: SFsAUG 5, THU AM: RepechageAUG 5, THU PM: Medal matches
Girls’s Freestyle 62kg Sonam Malik AUG 3, TUE AM: Rd of 16, QFsAUG 3, TUE PM: SFs AUG 4, WED AM: Repechage AUG 4, WED PM: Medals
Males’s Freestyle 57kg Ravi Kumar AUG 4, WED AM: Rd of 16, QFs AUG 4, WED PM: SFs AUG 5, THU AM: Repechage AUG 5, THU PM: Medal matches
Males’s Freestyle 65kg Bajrang Punia AUG 6, FRI AM: Rd of 16, QFs AUG 6, FRI PM: SFs AUG 7, FRI PM: Repechage, medal matches
Males’s Freestyle 86kg Deepak Punia AUG 4, WED AM: Rd of 16, QFs AUG 4, WED PM: SFs AUG 5, THU AM: Repechage AUG 5, THU PM: Medal matches

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