Indian wrestlers girded to continue supremacy

India had won 12 medals, including five golds, covering all categories in Gold Coast

India had won 12 medals, including five golds, covering all categories in Gold Coast

As the Indian wrestlers are all set to take the mat in Birmingham to resume their supremacy in the Commonwealth Games, one is compelled to ask: “How many gold medals this time?”

Superpower India had won 12 medals, including five golds, covering all categories in Gold Coast four years ago. This time, a star-studded Indian side will look to improve its overall performance wjile retaining its top spot.

Worlds and Olympics medallist Bajrang Punia (65kg), Worlds medallist Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik (62kg) and Asian champion Divya Kakran (68kg) will be keen to continue their success stories.

Bajrang, Vinesh and Sakshi are going for their third successive medal. Vinesh, who has recovered from an elbow surgery, will seek to match Sushil Kumar’s feat of winning three golds on the trot and redeem some pride after her forgettable showing at the Olympics.

Bajrang, who medalled in Tokyo in spite of carrying a knee injury and was injured again post Olympics, trained in the USA in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games. He is expected to showcase his aggressive game again while trying to retain his title.

A gold will complete Sakshi’s collection of Games medals and will help her make an impact after the 2016 Olympics.

Divya, too, will be interested in changing the colour of her bronze.

While Worlds silver medallist Anshu Malik (57kg) will eye her first Games medal, talented girls Pooja Gehlot (50kg) and Pooja Sihag (76kg) will hope to make their mark.

Among the men, Worlds and Olympics medallist Ravi Dahiya (57kg) will be the hot favourite in his category. His friend and Worlds silver medallist Deepak Punia (86kg), who recovered from a rib injury to train in the USA, will also be a gold medal aspirant.

Naveen (74kg), Deepak (97kg) and Mohit Grewal (125kg) will be no pushovers.

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