Shirdi, Sept. 26: After Indian wrestlers put up their best-ever show at the just-concluded World Wrestling Championships, it is time for the young grapplers of the country to shine when they take to the mat at the Tata Motors 2nd Under-23 Men's Free Style, Greco Roman Style and Women's National Wrestling Championships at Shirdi, Maharashtra from September 27 to 29.
This is only the second edition of the U-23 Nationals where last year's 57kg champion Ravi Kumar Dahiya was the breakout star when the event was held in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. While Dahiya not only went on to win a silver medal at the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship, the Delhi wrestler showed terrific maturity to grab a bronze even at the Senior World Wrestling Championships this year, besides securing a prized Tokyo Olympic quota.
Dahiya's success story will fuel the 500 male and 300 female wrestlers from 28 states who will vie for medals in 10 weight categories in each of the freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's events for the next 3 days.
In the absence of Dahiya this time, all eyes will be on last year's 70kg winner, Naveen from Jharkhand in freestyle. In the Greco-Roman section, Haryana's Sajan (77kg) and Delhi's Sanjeet (82kg) will return to try to successfully defend their gold.
Haryana will look to excel on the mat once again with as many as five of its former champions coming back to taste glory a second time in the women's division. Ankush (53kg), Pooja (62kg), Suman (68kg), Naina (72kg), and Pooja (76kg) will be looking to finish on the top podium like last year as will Uttar Pradesh's Divya Tomar in 50kg.
The hotbed of Indian wrestling, Haryana was the most successful State last year with 4 gold medals in each of the freestyle and Greco-Roman categories apart from 7 in the women's section. This time too Haryana will look to re-assert its supremacy with quite a few talented wrestlers contending for the top prizes.
With the World U23 Wrestling Championships going to be held from October 28 - November 3 at Budapest, Hungary this year, the U-23 Nationals will serve as the trials for the World Championships and the gold medallists will get a direct entry into the Indian Squad.
Source: Press Release