Sachin Rathi changed the streaks of the match while Deepak Punia maintained his top-level playing without difficulty as India won two gold medals in the freestyle contest on the final day of the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship.
On the final day of the championship, Out of the five Indian wrestlers, four of them reached the medal round with Suraj Rajkumar Kokate (61kg) and Mohit (125kg) winning bronze medals.
India, together with 173 points, finished second in the group championship behind Iran (189 points). Uzbekistan finished third with 128 points. The only person to overlook was Somveer Singh from the 92kg category.
Rathi won the first gold of the day for India from the 74kg using an astonishing change of game against Mongolia’s Bat-Erdene Byambasuren from the gold medal match.
Rathi trailed 2-5 following the first period after which lagged behind 2-9 at the next, but from that point, he switched out the bout on its head and trapped his opponent to maintain the gold.
“I knew I could win. My coach told me that I have to fight every second. I had the confidence to win gold despite trailing by many points. I just did not give up. It was more of a mental challenge after conceding such lead, and I did it” he said.
India junior coach Maha Singh Rao said, “I had advised him not to let the Mongolian fight from a distance. From there he was very attacking. I expected gold from him. He had it in him.”
In-form Deepak Punia then expectedly won the gold in the 86kg category. In the gold medal bout, he struggled with Turkmenistan’s Azat Gaziyev and won on technical superiority.
Indians show good performance – Junior Asian Wrestling
Wrestler Deepak Punia had a sole obstacle which was Iran’s Seyed Sajad Seyed Mehdi. However, he had defeated the opponent with ease of an 8-2 score line. Deepak had also conquered Japan’s Kairi Yagi (16-6) and Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Meldebek (11-0) which had given him the way to final.
“It was easy for me as I had the experience of competing in the senior championship also,” said Puniya, who hails from Sara village in Jhajjar district of Haryana.
India’s Suraj Rajkumar Kokate had an outstanding performance with Japan’s Yuto, where Suraj had erased a four-point lead to eke out a 16-8 win to maintain bronze at the 61kg category.
Suraj leveled the score with an astonishing ‘Kalaganj’ (ankle-pick). Ahead of the first period finished, he’d obtained an 8-4 lead.
The Japanese guy was though not in a mood to let it go and leveled back the scores 8-8 with consecutive gut wrench moves. But out there Suraj never looked back and logged 8 points to finish the bout in his favor.
I had seen his bouts, so I was prepared how to tackle him,” said Suraj, who is grabbing audience’s attention by his performance at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship.
In the 92kg, Somveer Singh had failed to reach the medal round after dropping his closing third round 2-3 Japan’s Takuma Otsu. Suraj had lost his semifinal 6-9 to Kazakhstan’s Syrbaz Talgat.
Junior India trainer Rao said he was anticipating a golden from Suraj, but small mistakes made the gap. Mohit, meanwhile, fought for bronze in the 125kg against Mongolia’s Bat Erdene Erdenebaatar and won it by technical superiority.
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