India’s sole champ at the Asian Wrestling Championship on the first day of the competition was Harpreet Singh as he won the bronze medal in the 80 kg Greco-Roman wrestling. Other Indians failed to sway over their opponents in their respective categories.
This was Harpreet’s second consecutive bronze medal in this competition with his previous medal in Bangkok. He defeated China’s Junjie Na in the playoff for the bronze medal. The final score of the match was 3-1.
The first round was tied with both the wrestlers securing a point each. The Indian came out strong in the second round and took two points with a hasty take on the Chinese. The score now was 3-1 with the Indian with a strong hold on the match. Na tried to make a comeback in the final round and was successful to earn a point due to the Indian’s passivity. In the final minutes, the Indian tried to sustain the one point lead by applying the ‘bagaldo’ technique.
Harpreet defeated Japan’s Yuya Maeta 2-1 in the qualifying round. He got a place in the bronze medal bout when his quarterfinal opponent June-Hyoung Kim of Korea reached the finals. He had lost the quarter finals 0-8 to the Korean. Ramin Soltanmorad of Iran clinched the gold by defeating Kim June-Hyoung 3-1 in the final.
“There was a lot of pressure on me as I was the only medal hope left and I wanted to give the country a medal on the first day of the championship, being the hosts,” said Harpreet,”I focused very hard and strategized how I could win the bronze. I am glad I could apply the strategy well to win the medal in the end,” he added.
As been said by him, all the other Indians failed to impress on this day. Gurpreet Singh lost his Bronze medal bout against China’s Bin Yang 0-8 in a completely one-sided match. The match lasted just 38 seconds. He got a chance in the bronze medal match after a victory against Burgo Beishaliev of Kyrgyzstan in the repechage round. Gurpreet was defeated in the quarters by Maxat Yerezhepov from Kazakhstan who reached the finals.
Hardeep Singh competing in the 98 kg category was defeated in his quarterfinal bout against Iran’s Seyed Mostafa Seyedghanbar Salehizadeh 0-5. When Salehizadeh reached the finals Hardeep got a lifeline in the repechage round. Here he lost again to the Kazakh Yerulan Iskakov 9-0 and was eliminated from the competition.
Ravinder in 66 kg class was defeated in the quarters 3-5 by Ali Reizollah Arsalan of Iran. Another wrestler Naveen in the 130 kg class was taken down by the Uzbek wrestler Muminjon Abdullaev 2-1 in the qualification round.
Despite one bronze medal on the first day of the tournament, the performance of the hosts cannot be considered to be on par with the Asian giants of Iran and China.