Why 2018 could be a watershed year in Indian wrestling
The story of Indian wrestlers deserves a novel in itself. From creating history every other day to cutting a sorry figure for the next few weeks, the flip flop state of the amateur wrestlers is something not many fans have been able to figure out well. Had it not been for Sakshi Malik's splendid performance at 2016 Rio Olympics, the wrestlers would have had to face the ignominy of returning empty handed for the first time since Athens 2004.
However, 2018 gives a golden opportunity for the budding wrestlers to plot redemption. Though a bit tight, the schedule for next year keeps the Indian wrestlers battle ready. The likes of Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Phogat sisters, who have been out of action since 2016, will be aiming to bounce back in style. They will be aspiring to capitalise on their new found successes at the recently concluded Commonwealth Championship.
The year for the Indian wrestlers will start with the much touted Asian Championships in the late end of February. This will be their first significant tournament in 2018. Following the continental bouts, they will face a bigger challenge in the form of the Commonwealth Games. The 2018 edition of the competition is slated to be held in Australia between April 4 and 5.
The next challenge for the Indian wrestling team will be the 18th Asian Games. The event will take place in Jakarta from 18th August to 2nd September. The Indian contingent will be hoping to replicate their successes from the previous edition of the Games in Incheon during 2014. Notably, Yogeshwar Dutt had won the freestyle wrestling gold medal for India in the 60 kg category.
The younger members of India's wrestling fraternity will receive ample opportunities for glory when they start their campaign at the World Junior Championships in Slovakia from 17th to 23rd of September. Following the completion of the event, the Indian colts will depart for their next sojourn - the Youth Olympics - which are expected to take place between October 6 and 18 in Argentina's capital city of Buenos Aires.
From the 20th to 28th of October, the senior Indian wrestling team will be eyeing a solid showing at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Hopefully, the wrestlers will fo the country proud in the various tournaments by bringing back more medals than ever before.