Sajan Bhanwala becomes the first Indian medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling

Sajan Bhanwala becomes the first Indian medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling

October 19, 2022, 7:27 p.m.
2 minute read

Sajan Bhanwala won the bronze medal at the World U-23 Wrestling Championship

Indian Sajan Bhanwala won the bronze medal at the Under-23 World Wrestling Championship (77kg event) in Spain on Wednesday.

He became the first Indian to win a medal in Greco-Roman wrestling, a form that allows wrestlers to use only their upper body.

In the bronze medal match, Bhanwala defeated Dmytro Vastesky to script the story.

We decode here the journey of the Indian.

Bhanwala enters the record books

What is Greco-Roman wrestling?

Greco-Roman wrestling, a combat sport, has been a regular feature at the Olympic Games since the 1908 Games.

Like freestyle wrestling, a wrestler must either pin their opponent to the mat or loot more points within the time limit.

Unlike the first, you cannot stand below the waist in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Additionally, wrestlers are not allowed to use their legs for offensive or defensive actions.

Bhanwala’s journey in the U-23 World Wrestling Championship

Bhanwala beat Lithuanian Aistis Liaugminas 3-0 in qualifying.

However, the Indian lost to Alexandrin Gutu by a margin of 0-8 in the pre-quarter-finals.

While Gutu secured the place for the final, Bhanwala qualified for the repechage round.

In this round, the Indian wrestler defeated Rassul Zhunis of Kazakhstan to book a spot in the bronze medal match.

Bhanwala defeated Vasetskyi in the storyline story.

Bhanwala scored a four-pointer

The bronze medal match between Bhanwala and Vasetskyi turned out to be exciting.

Bhanwala led 4-10 before scoring the next six points at 10-10 level.

However, the Indian emerged victorious by registering the most striking move of the fight.

Notably, if two wrestlers are tied at the end, the one with the higher hit or ending point wins the bout.

Earlier this year, Bhanwala won bronze medals at the Asian Under-23 Championships and Zouhaier Sghaier Ranking Series, respectively. In 2019, the Indian wrestler qualified for the semi-finals of the World Under-23 Wrestling Championships. However, he lost his round of medals from this edition.

21 Indian wrestlers deprived of visa

India entered the ongoing World Under-23 Wrestling Championship with a reduced squad after host country Spain denied visas to 21 out of 30 wrestlers.

According to the Indian Wrestling Federation, the rejection is motivated by the suspicion that the athletes will not leave Spain before their visas expire.

Antim Panghal, India’s first-ever under-20 world champion, was among the 21 wrestlers.

Robert J. King