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Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia to lead 30-man Indian squad at Wrestling World Championships

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Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia to lead 30-man Indian squad at Wrestling World Championships

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SportsCafe Desk


The experienced duo of Indian wrestlers - Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik - will shoulder the task of leading a 30-man squad for the upcoming Wrestling World Championships to be held in Budapest from October 20. WFI has named 10 members each in free-style, greco-roman, and women’s wrestling events.

In-form wrestler - Bajrang Punia - will be India’s prime hope for a medal finish as the Indian wrestling contingent gear up for a challenging outing at the World Wrestling Championships later this month. Punia, who already bagged back-to-back gold medals at the Gold Coast CWG and Asian Games this year, is in the form of his life at the moment and will definitely have his eye on the piece of yellow as the Indian team travel to Budapest this month.

Amongst the women, Sakshi Malik, who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics will shoulder the task of leading by example at the upcoming championships. Although her results of late have been below-par, the Indian wrestler will hope to put that behind her and finish on the podium in Hungary. CWG gold medalist Pooja Dhanda (57kg) will also be a part of the 30-man squad assembled by the Wrestling Federation of India.

WFI has short-listed 10 members each in free-style, greco-roman and women’s wrestling categories. Jagminder Singh will serve as the head coach of the freestyle team, while Kuldeep Malik will stay in charge of the women’s squad. Besides the 30 wrestlers, the Indian contingent will also include 17 officials - coaches, physio, masseur and referees. The Indian team will leave for Budapest on Tuesday morning where they will have pre-tournament conditioning camp ahead of the global event which will begin on October 20.

“We are fully prepared for the tournament. The girls have worked extensively on their technic after the Asian Games and we hope to better our medals tally this time around,” Kuldeep Malik told PTI sources.

Men’s freestyle coach Jagminder Singh was also optimistic as he said, “We will definitely win some medals but I can’t tell you the number. We are fully prepared and the camp before the main event will be very beneficial for us.” 


Freestyle: Sandeep Tomar (57kg), Sonba Tanaji Gongane (61kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Pankaj Rana (70kg), Jitender (74kg), Sachin Rathi (79kg), Pawan Kumar (86kg), Deepak (92kg) Mausam Khatri (97kg), Sumit (125kg), Jagminder Singh (Chief Coach). 

Women’s: Ritu Phogat (50kg), Pinki (53kg), Seema (55kg), Pooja Dhanda (57kg), Sangeeta (59kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Ritu (65kg), Navjot Kaur (68kg), Rajini (72kg), Kiran (76kg), Kuldeep Malik (Chief Coach). 

Greco Roman: Vijay (55kg), Gyanender (60kg), Gaurav Sharma (63kg), Manish (67kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Harpreet Singh (82kg), Manjeet (87kg), Hardeep (97kg), Naveen (130kg), Kuldeep Singh (Chief Coach)

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