New Delhi, Feb 14: Ace wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat will spearhead the Indian challenge in the freestyle and women’s competitions respectively at the upcoming Asian Wrestling Championships, to be played at the Indira Gandhi Stadium here from February 18 to 23.
Bajrang will be out to defend his Asian Championships gold, won at Xi’an, China last year while Vinesh, who had to settle for a bronze in Xi’an in 2019, is a strong contender for the gold at home. Both, Bajrang and Vinesh have returned with bronze medals from the UWW World Wrestling Championships, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, last year.
The Asian Championships hold a special significance for the participant as the governing body of the sport United World Wrestling has announced that the event will be considered to determine rankings for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The other Indian strong contenders also include Deepak Punia, the reigning 86 kg World Junior Champion and a silver medallist from the 2019 World Championships, Nur-Sultan World Championships bronze medallist Ravi Dahiya, Rio 2016 Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and Xi’an Asian Championships bronze medallist Divya Kakran.
The six-day competition, an important build-up platform in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will see the leading Asian wrestlers vying for top honours in the freestyle, GrecoRoman and women’s wrestling disciplines. The Senior Asian Wrestling Championships has returned to India after a gap to two years and Star Sports First will broadcast the six-day continental tournament. 'The Wrestling Federation of India is elated to get Star Sports First on board for this prestigious championship.
The sport of wrestling will surely get elevated with this tie-up. The value-added, high-quality production is going to offer a new experience to the wrestling fans in the country,' said Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, President, Wrestling Federation of India Along with the Star Sports First, Asian Wrestling Championships will also be streamed live on Hotstar. (UNI)