The Indian women’s team has set a new benchmark after winning five medals at the U23 Wrestling World Championships in Belgarde, Serbia. This is India’s biggest medal haul in a single edition of the U23 Wrestling Worlds, surpassing the three-medal win of 2017.
Head coach for U23 World Championship Randhir Singh said this is just the start to a better future for Indian wrestling.
"Five medals in a single competition at the u23 worlds is brilliant. The girls showed they have what it takes to compete at the highest level. This is history by the Indian women's wrestling team," he told Sportskeeda exclusively.
On Friday, three Indian wrestlers battled for the bronze medal and won all of them.
Randhir said since the team could not gather for a preparatory camp before the event, the focus was to stick to their strengths and adapt to situations.
"They fought fearlessly. Our plan throughout the competition was to be aggressive from the start and stick to our strengths," Randhir said.
In the 62kg weight category, Radhika defeated 2019 European silver medalist, Aurora Campagna of Italy 6-4, at the U23 Wrestling World Championship.
It is a huge win for the youngster as she prepares to challenge Tokyo Olympian Sonam Malik at the national championship scheduled to be held in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh from November 11 to 13.
In the 65kg weight category, Nisha Dahiya defeated Elma Zeidlere of Latvia by technical superiority 10-0 inside the first round.
Divya Kakran also joined the party after she bagged India’s fourth bronze medal at the U23 Wrestling World Championships. She defeated Kayla Marano of the USA in the second period win by fall.
Earlier on day one of the women’s wrestling competition at the U23 Worlds, Shivani Pawar opened India’s medal-winning spree. She claimed the country’s seventh silver medal at the event.
She lost to Emily Shilson of the USA, who is now a champion in all three age-group competitions, by pinfall in the 50kg weight class.
Anju, who is the current national champion in 55kg, defeated Canada’s Virginie Gascon 17-6 on technical superiority to win bronze.
India had no representation in the 53kg weight after U23 national title holder Ankush pulled out of the competition due to injury. She hails from the Bagana, Haryana, which is the same village as Anju.
India has a total of five medals including one silver and four bronze.
Greco-Roman wrestlers fails litmus test at U23 Wrestling World Championships
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Meanwhile, India’s struggle to make a mark in the Greco-Roman wrestling style continues. The Indian contingent at U23 Wrestling Worlds had another failed outing after none of the 10 wrestlers managed to reach the medal rounds.