Wrestling is the Sport which has given India third highest number of medals at Commonwealth Games with 102 medals including 43 Golds.
Written by | Sanjay Kr Verma
Only shooting and weightlifting have done better than wrestling. In fact, wrestling has given us the first medal in the history of the Games way back in 1934 at London.
Rashid Anwar was the first medalist when he took Bronze in 74kg Freestyle at London Games.
India has been so dominating at the games that at the last games all the wrestlers who took part from India had won a medal.
In the 2014 games as well all the wrestlers except Jyoti came back with a medal.
This year at Birmingham India is sending 12 member strong contingent which includes 6 men and equal number of women participants.
Indians are not expected to face much trouble and will be expected to again medal in each category and look to grab gold in maximum events. Whatever challenge is expected will be from Indians turning up for Canada and women wrestler from Nigeria.
The Olympic medalist Ravi Dahiya is probably too good for such a competition and will need to find self motivation to get the gold, it will be a good opportunity for Bajrang Punia who off late has become very cautious during bouts.
He would be itching to grab his third CWG medal and this might just add that much needed confidence for the star wrestler.
Deepak Punia who lost out on a Olympic medal in the dying seconds should also find it easy to make the final but he needs to also take care of his body as he is injury prone.
For the young brigade of Naveen(74kg), Deepak(97kg) and Mohit(125kg) it will be a golden opportunity to grab a senior medal in an international competition.
This very much explains that we can equal our best ever haul of 10 Golds which we won at Delhi in 2010.
In Women’s 68 KG Nigerian Olympic silver medalist Blessing Oborududu is a real threat to Divya Kakran who need to be at her best to have a chance against the mighty Nigerian.
It will be interesting to see how Vinesh performs as there will be a lot of expectations from her and it will be good opportunity for her. Anshu Malik who has been showing good form will surely gun for glory and the same applies to Pooja and Divya.
Sakshi Malik makes a comeback into Indian team in a multi sports event after a long time and would be roaring to go one better on the bronze and silver she has in last two games.
Canada and Nigeria are the only nations which can pose some challenge to the Indians as none of the other teams which have won medals at last edition in Gold Coast were able to send qualified athletes to Tokyo Olympics last Year.
Even if they could not perform to their best winning 3 Golds in each category cannot be denied as Ravi Dahiya in Men’s 57 KG, Bajrang Punia in 65 KG and Deepak Punia in 86 KG have no challenge in Men’s section.
Similarly, Pooja Gehlot in 50 KG, Vinesh Phogat in 53 KG and Anshu Malik in 57 KG are hot favourites to take the yellow metal for India this time.