Sandeep Tomar: 10 things to know about the wrestler
Sandeep Tomar is going to represent India at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 57kg freestyle wrestling category. The ace grappler has been working really hard to ensure he earns a podium finish at the Games, as he dreams of winning a medal for his country in his debut Olympics. Let us now take a look at 10 things about the wrestler:
#1 Sandeep Tomar was born in 1992 in Malakpur Village in Bhagpat district of Uttar Pradesh. The hard as nails wrestler has been making rapid strides in the world of wrestling, and will be making his Olympic debut in Rio, as he aims to win a medal and emulate Indian wrestlers like Sushil Kumar in the men’s freestyle 57kg category.
#2 He had clinched a bronze medal at the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mongolia to book a berth for the Olympics, after defeating Andriy Yatsenko of Ukraine 11-0 in his bout. With his qualification, he becomes the fourth wrestler after Yogeshwar Dutt (men’s 65kg freestyle), Narsingh Yadav (men’s 74kg freestyle) and Hardeep Singh (Greco-Roman 98kg) to book a place for the Olympics.
“My federation (Wrestling Federation of India) gave me a responsibility to win an Olympic quota for my country at Mongolia, and I was really happy to have made the Olympic cut.”
#3 The ace grappler had the title of National Junior Champion in the year 2011 and went a step further by capturing the gold medal at the 55th National Championships in 2012 in the 55kg freestyle category. He showed great improvements in his game to clinch the gold, as he had finished 5th in the event the previous year.
#4 He is confident of winning a medal at the Olympics, and has been training hard to make sure his dream comes true. He has been strictly following his coaches’ advice, as he’s shedding a lot of blood and sweat to see the country’s flag soars high in Rio.
“I am overjoyed at winning the quota and I think the hard yards that I put in before this qualifier have paid off. I was a little disappointed at having missed out on the final but it was important to eliminate that loss from my thinking as soon as possible.”
#5 He had defeated North Korea’s Jong Hak-jin in the finals to win the gold medal at the 2016 Asian Wrestling Championship this year. He was the only Indian wrestler to win a gold medal at the event.
His performance at the tournament gave a boost to his confidence for the Olympic Qualifiers, where he came out with flying colours and was successful in his mission to book a berth and be a part of the Indian contingent at the Olympics.
#6 He works for the Indian Navy, and considers them to be a pillar of support who have provided him with all the necessary motivation to encourage him to do his best in his sport.
“Indian Navy has been a pillar of support for me. I really feel grateful to Indian Navy for all the supported provided to me.”
#7 He has represented India on the world stage before and had made the country proud by winning the gold medal in his category at the 2014 Military World Games. He uses his quick thinking and agility to confuse and unsettle his opponents, and is an aggressive wrestler who is always on the mission to get the better hand and emerge victorious in his bouts.
#8 At the 2013 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in Johannesburg, Sandeep had won the gold medal in the 55kg freestyle category ahead of the likes of Narender of India and Bokang Masunyane of South Africa, who had finished second and third respectively in the event.
"I just told myself that I had performed well throughout. I was working according to the plan that the coaches and I had decided upon. It was a case of keeping your concentration, reading my opponent's body language and making the openings that I forced, count."
#9 He was the third Indian wrestler to be acquired by JSW Sport owned Bangalore franchise at the Pro Wrestling League, and was bought at a price of Rs.10.3 lakhs.
#10 He has been an experienced campaigner in the sport of wrestler in recent years, having won laurels all over the world. He clinched the bronze medal in the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Dave Schultz Memorial Tournament. He had also won the bronze medal at the Takhti Cup in Iran in the year 2015.