Senior Asian Wrestling Championship 2020: Sakshi Malik, Rahul Aware to spearhead Indian contingent in non-Olympic weight categories
What's the story?
Highly decorated Indian Freestyle Wrestler Sakshi Malik and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Rahul Aware will be leading the 12-member Indian contingent at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championship in the non-Olympic weight categories.
27-year-old Sakshi Malik is best known for winning a Bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
A Bronze at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha; a Silver at the 2017 Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi; a Silver at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games; and a Bronze at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games are some of her other notable achievements. She has also been conferred the highest sporting honour of India - Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna - in 2016.
Meanwhile, Rahul Aware is highly regarded for winning the Gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast CWG and a Bronze medal at the World Wrestling Championships held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan in September 2019.
The heart of the matter
Both Sakshi and Rahul won a Bronze medal in their respective categories at the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi'an, China in April last year.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) said in a statement that the selection trials for the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championships were conducted on Sunday (Jan 12) and Monday (Jan 13) at the Sai Training Centres (STC) in Sonepat and Lucknow.
Rahul will be carrying India's hopes in the 61kg freestyle category. Apart from him, Somveer (92kg), Gaurav Baliyan (79kg), and Naveen (70kg) are the other freestyle Indian wrestlers who will be vying for a medal finish.
Among the Freestyle Women wrestlers, Sakshi Malik will be in contention in the 65kg category. Meanwhile, Gursharanpreet Kaur (72kg), Sarita (59kg), and Pinki (55kg) will also be battling it out in their respective categories.
The wrestlers who will represent India in greco-roman are Harpreet Singh (82kg), Aditya Kundu (72kg), Sachin Rana (63kg), and Arjun (55kg). Harpreet had won a Silver for India in the Men's Greco-Roman 82kg category at the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi'an last year.
On the basis of the trials, 12 of India's prestigious Wrestlers have been selected to take part in the Championships which will take place in New Delhi between 17 and 23 February. This is the 8th time India will be hosting the flagship event.Modified 14 Jan 2020, 13:26 IST