Hoping for two medals in Rio: Indian women wrestling coach Kuldeep Singh
Indian women wrestling fans will have a lot to look forward to from the women wrestling contingent at the 2016 Rio Olympics. And the expectations do not appear unrealistic given the fact the likes of Vinesh Phogat, Babita Kumar Kumari and Sakshi Malik are hugely talented and can go the distance.
No wonder, Indian women freestyle wrestling coach Kuldeep Singh is gung-ho about a good showing in Rio. “Our girls are really working hard and I’m confident that they will live up to the expectations of everyone,” he says with a tinge of confidence.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Geeta Phogat became the country’s first woman wrestler to participate in the Olympics. And four years later, the country is fielding three grapplers in the 2016 edition. Kuldeep is bullish about women wrestlers winning their first Olympic medal in Rio. “We have three grapplers in the fray and I feel that we can win two medals in Rio if all goes well. We need the blessings of everyone and hope our wrestlers perform at their best in Rio,” he quips.
Kuldeep is himself a former Olympian – he had represented India at the 1988 Seoul Olympic in the men’s freestyle 52-kg category, where he finished sixth. He has been associated as coach with the Indian wrestling team – both men and women – since 2000 and the Railway-employed coach is doing his bit to ensure our women wrestlers strain their last nerve and pull off their best performance in Rio.
The three Olympic-bound women wrestlers will travel to Bulgaria for a strenuous training stint early next week. “Our girls are working hard at the SAI centre in Lucknow for some time now. We will leave for Bulgaria on Monday or Tuesday and will likely return home after a three-week training stint on June 20,” he opines.
Let’s hope that our women grapplers can make a podium finish in Rio.