Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, December 1
Asian Championships silver medallists Gurpreet Singh and Sunil Kumar lived up to their reputation, both clinching gold medals in the Greco-Roman category on the final day of the National Wrestling Championships here today.
Punjab’s Gurpreet secured his fourth national title when he defeated two-time junior World Championships medallist Sajan Bhanwal, who was representing Railways, by a 3-1 margin in the 77kg final. Gurpreet continued his dominance over his younger rival and registered his fourth win in the five bouts fought by the two so far.
Another Punjab Greco-Roman wrestler, Harpreet Singh (82kg), rode on home support to defeat Rajbir Chhikara of Railways with a 4-1 scoreline in the final.
Hardeep Singh, who was the first Indian Greco-Roman wrestler to qualify for the Olympics back in 2016, received a walkover against Ravi Rathi of Railways in the 97kg category.
Representing the Railways, Sunil Kumar won gold with an easy win over Punjab’s Prabhal in the 87kg category. Winner of a silver medal at the Asian Championships in April this year, Sunil used his experience to crush his Punjab opponent by a 5-1 scoreline. In the 55kg category, Karnataka’s Arjun, representing the Services, defeated Ajay 9-0 to win gold. Railways were on top of the points table with 210 points while Services were second with 170 points, followed by Jharkhand at third with 109 points.
- There was no testing of wrestlers for performance-enhancing drugs at the event because the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has not sent a team here. “We informed them of the tournament in advance and they still did not send a team. It is not acceptable,” said Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). “Since it’s an Olympic year, they (wrestlers) should be tested at all competitions,” he added. According to reports, NADA director general Navin Agarwal was surprised when informed that the National Championships was underway. “What, National Championships are happening?” Agarwal said to a news website. “When are they ending? I was not aware of this tournament.” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said NADA had been informed about the competition. “NADA asked for the schedule just 15 days back,” Tomar said.
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