After the Tokyo Olympic debacle, the Indian Greco-Roman wrestling team set their sights on the 2022 Asian Games. Wrestlers have set personal goals for the flagship event which will take place September 10-25. next year in Hangzhou, China.
One of the national coaches, on condition of anonymity, had an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda. He said:
âYes, it was a bad performance for us in Olympic qualifying and we couldn’t get a single quota. But that’s all in the past now. We have some big events coming up next year, so we’re all focusing on that. “
The current Greco-Roman lot is the best India has ever produced. It has many continental medalists, such as Arjun Halakurki (55 kg), Gurpreet (77 kg) and Sunil Kumar (87 kg). Their performance at the 2020 Asian Championships – which was the best ever – speaks to this claim.
The Indian team won five medals including one gold and four bronze. However, the forced break due to the pandemic spoiled their preparations.
âWe were all in good shape and injury free. The wrestling team had good exposure abroad and had trained competitively. We expected at least two Olympic quotas. Yes, it’s true that everyone has had a similar situation but for a nation that has recently started to make its presence felt in Greco-Roman, all of these aspects play an important role, âadded the coach.
However, the team now took it as a learning curve and started to prepare for the new Olympic cycle.
How are some stars of Greco-Roman wrestling preparing?
Gurpreet, who is closest to an Olympic qualification, is currently treating a knee injury at his home in Chandigarh. He also noted his flaws and pasted them on his wall. The 28-year-old says it reminds him of his weaknesses and helps him stay on track.
âI started light training and also treated an injury. I have a small schedule that has my weaknesses and strengths listed on the wall. It helps me know where to work and also keeps me focused, âhe said.
He did not participate in the trials of the recently organized world championships and will therefore have to participate in the national championships to return to the team.
Like Gurpreet, Sachin Rana (60 kg) has also set his sights on the national championships which are due to take place in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, from November 19.
He competed in the World Trials but lost in the opening laps. The youngster is currently training with the railroad team and plans to participate in an international event this year.
âI am currently training with the railroad wrestling team. It would have been a good exhibition for me. Nonetheless, I plan to compete in the National Championships and also the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in December. All of this will help me prepare for the Asian Games, âhe said.
Sunil Kumar, who was the only gold medalist at the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championships, will travel to Oslo, Norway for the world wrestling championships next month.
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